Hey Diamond dogs! @spilledbagofice here with a quick recap of some of the highlights of UFC 238: Cejudo vs Moraes! The UFC was back in Diamond MMA's home turf of Chicago and that meant that the patron saint of safe balls, our own Craig Diamond, was out and about making sure that all the fighters were protected. Tony Ferguson, Marlon Moraes. Popov, Lamas and Kattar all got hooked up with Diamond gear. We didn't see Cowboy or Wineland but they've both been known to protect themselves with Diamonds so hopefully their goods were all good.
Speaking of Wineland and Popov, they were throwing heat! Usually when you exclaim, "No way this is going to a decision!" It goes to a decision. Not this time. Popov looked every bit the promising prospect and Eddie Wineland looked as good as ever - finding his timing and range in the second round and landing a vicious KO. Not to mention that sweet mustache he's rocking. Ian "Uncle Creepy" McCall would be proud.
Ricardo Lamas looked on point and yet Calvin Kattar, the guy not a lot of casual fans have heard of, looked even better! Kattar's pressure and accuracy culminating in an impressive 1st round KO of the UFC/WEC veteran Lamas! Now at 19-3, I have a feeling this dude is gonna be moving on up to the main card.
Alexa Grasso and Aljamain Sterling both scored solid decision wins against tough opponents.
Usually Diamond MMA wouldn't mention a women's fight in regard to groin protection but an errant knee from Tatiana Suarez hit Nina Ansaroff right in the... "ouchie hello there!" Is groin protection in the future for female combat sport athletes? A flatter version of a cup? I dunno. Is there a market? I'm no groin protection specialist. Who knows? Craig could be the pioneer.
Let's jump up to what could be considered the two co-main events as they were such awesome match-ups. How damn great are Cowboy & T-Fergs? Cowboy has been on a complete tear lately but Tony really started picking him apart in the second. He was just in the zone. It was as amazing and exciting a fight as we hoped -until unfortunately Cowboy's swollen-shut eye caused the stoppage. Tony said that he's down to run that one back again. I think we're all down to watch that again... and again.
Yes, Jessica Eye wore a bulletproof vest with "Bulletproof" written in big letters on it during the weigh-ins - a play on Valentina Shevchenko's nickname "Bullet"- and sure bulletproof vests don't protect your head and okay, somewhat ironically, Valentina won via brutal head-kick knockout but... Yeah, I don't really have a point there. Just Shevchenko is scary and fun to watch.
Main event! We have yet another Champ-Champ as Henry Cejudo scored the 3rd rd KO to win the UFC Bantamweight Belt to add to his Flyweight one. Moraes turned in an impressive and competitive 1st round using his reach and range well but then the tide really started to turn towards Cejudo who, despite being a Olympian wrestler, began to use Muay Thai style clinch work reminiscent of Anderson Silva vs Rich Franklin. Henry was feeding Marlon what was definitely well above the recommended daily allowance of knees to the dome. Say what you will about Henry Cejodo's dorky weigh-in shenanigans, he beat the seemingly unbeatable Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson and the then Bantamweight Champ TJ Dillashaw to defend his flyweight title. These are the kind of impressive victories that get you in the conversation about pound-for-pound rankings and, if he keeps it up, GOATs.
'Til next time, fight fans... Keep your goodies protected!