Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is bringing mixed martial arts (MMA) fans a championship doubleheader this Sat. night (June 8, 2019) with its UFC 238 pay-per-view (PPV) extravaganza, set for United Center in Chicago, Illinois.
Leading the charge will be the bantamweight title fight contested between Henry Cejudo and Marlon Moraes, a bout to claim a new 135-pound king after TJ Dillashaw was overthrown by the “demons of self doubt.”
In the UFC 238 co-headliner, reigning women’s flyweight titleholder, Valentina Shevchenko, will try to defend her 125-pound strap against longtime veteran, Jessica Eye. Both fights make sense on paper and feature the top-ranked combatants from each division.
And yet it all seems so ... meh.
That’s probably why the promotion hastily cobbled together a lightweight showdown between Tony Ferguson and Donald Cerrone, who are not only a pair of Top 5 lightweights, but two combatants accustomed to headlining their own events.
A fact not lost on “El Cucuy.”
“I think they should have put my picture on the poster, for one,” Ferguson told the combat sports media on Wednesday. “This is the first time I haven’t been in the co-main event or main event in a long fucking time. You guys can call it what you want, this card sucked, I’ll be straight up. I didn’t fucking pay attention to anybody who was on this card. I mean, I don’t give two fucks about the people who are at the top.”
Not many fucks are being given these days.
Look no further than the dwindling flyweight division, which does not have enough fighters to round out the Top 15. That may explain why the promotion was so willing to grant flyweight champion, Henry Cejudo, a shot at the bantamweight belt. In addition, UFC appears to have abandoned the “superstar era” in favor of ESPN+ paychecks.
Fortunately for MMA fans, we don’t always need a championship title to be at stake for a slam-bang thriller, like the one expected between Ferguson and Cerrone. No months of pre-fight hype, no broken bus windows, no protracted Twitter wars. Just two of the very best in the world ready to die to reach the next rung on the ladder.