Aljamain Sterling and a couple of his fellow ranked bantamweights are expecting Marlon Moraes to show UFC flyweight champion Henry Cejudo that 135-pounds is a different world.
Sterling, Jimmier Rivera and Cody Stamann were among the many fighters to contribute their predictions to SBN MMA’s Fighters Pick Fights series.
Henry Cejudo vs. Marlon Moraes
Aljamain Sterling: I’m still a little unsure of Henry Cejudo at 135 against top level competition like Marlon Moraes. The power, the jiu-jitsu, the takedown defense, the leg kicks, the head kicks. The wrestling of Cejudo is undeniable but we’ve only seen him utilize ground-and-pound one time and that was against T.J. Dillashaw. That fight was really short and it’s really tough to get anything out of it for a measure on this one… Marlon, you can’t count him out. He’s ‘Magic’ Marlon for a reason.
Jimmie Rivera: I’ve got Marlon winning the fight. I think he’s just a lot bigger. I think it’s going to be a finish on Marlon’s end I just don’t know if it’s going to be in the third or fourth round. I don’t think it’s going to be right away.”
Cody Stamann: Marlon Moraes is huge. Henry Cejudo is not. You’re looking at maybe a 10-pound disadvantage at least for Cejud. Moraes has real power. He can literally put someone out. He has good distance control, he is not easy to get to. I guess I haven’t seen great take down defense from him, but I’ve never seen anyone hold him down on the mat for a split second. Cejudo really surprised me in that Dillashaw fight. Honestly, I lost a lot of money that night. Cejudo is not someone you want to count out. He is an Olympic gold medalist like he likes to tell everyone every day. He is a great athlete and a great martial artist… Cejudo does’t have that one-punch knockout power the way Moraes does so I think I’m going to take Moraes in this fight.
Valentina Shevchenko vs. Jessica Eye
Santiago Ponzinibbio: Valentina Shevchenko is very tough, she always stays in the moment. I like what she puts in the game. I think Valentina will win.
Josh Emmett: Jessica Eye is tough and she has great boxing, but, man, Valentina Shevchenko is on another level. She is continuing to improve and I don’t see anyone at 125-pounds beating her for a long time.
Elias Theodorou: Most people would be looking at the champ. With Jessica, don’t clown her out. She has moved her whole live to Vegas now. If anyone has the heart to pull it off it’s her. A betting person would look at the champ for how dominant she is, but I know Jess and I’m rooting for her.
[Author’s Note: Some of the quotes above have been condensed for clarity]