UFC 288 Main Event: Aljamain Sterling vs Henry Cejudo is a Close Call

Kahfeel Buchanan
Kahfeel Buchanan
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News - Boxing
UFC 288 main event Aljamain Sterling vs Henry Cejudo is a close call

UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling will fight former two-division champion Henry Cejudo for the bantamweight title at UFC 288 in Newark, New Jersey on May 6. Cejudo is returning to the UFC after retiring in 2020 and hopes to reclaim the championship that he relinquished.  Entering his third fight as champion, Sterling will try to pick up one of the biggest wins of his career. 

Quick Take

  • Henry Cejudo returns to the UFC for the first time since 2020
  • Cejudo is the betting favourite at -113 on Bet99
  • Sterling a slight underdog with -109 odds to win

Sterling vs Cejudo fight preview

UFC betting sites have not given anyone a huge advantage in this fight. Cejudo is currently a slight betting favourite with -113 odds while Sterling has -109 odds to win the fight on Bet99. Although Cejudo hasn’t fought in almost three years, UFC 285 proved that time off isn’t a problem for some fighters. Jon Jones quickly defeated Ciryl Gane in the first round after more than two years without a fight in the UFC. Can Cejudo do the same two months later?

Cejudo won four of his last six fights by KO/TKO and the other two by decision. He has +400 odds to win by KO/TKO. Sterling has won his last six fights by almost every way imaginable. He won three by decision, one via DQ, and one by submission. Sterling has +225 odds to win by decision, +400 odds to win by submission, and +1000 odds to win with a KO.

Henry “Triple C” Cejudo

Henry Cejudo is currently the betting favourite heading into this fight with -113 odds to win the fight on Bet99. He has better odds than the champion despite being three years older, 36, and coming out of retirement. Cejudo was one of the best MMA fighters in the UFC when he retired at UFC 239. Now, Cejudo is back to reclaim the bantamweight belt that he relinquished when he decided to step away from the octagon in 2020. 

Cejudo hasn’t stopped training since he retired, according to an article by ESPN. He retired from fighting after defeating Dominick Cruz and retaining the UFC’s bantamweight title almost three years ago on May 9, 2020. A former champion in two divisions simultaneously and one of only a handful of fighters to do so in the UFC, he held the flyweight and bantamweight championships. Cejudo also defeated Demetrius Johnson, the man recognized as one of the greatest MMA fighters ever, and put an end to Johnson’s 13 fight winning streak in the UFC.

Aljamain “Funk Master” Sterling

Aljamain Sterling is the current UFC bantamweight champion and is slightly an underdog at -109 odds on Bet99. Sterling is on an eight fight winning streak. He hasn’t lost a fight since 2017, when he was knocked out by Marlon Moraes. Sterling won three title fights since the last time Cejudo stepped into the octagon. Although he doesn’t have Cejudo’s resume, Cejudo hasn’t fought in the UFC in years. Sterling is also ranked sixth on the UFC’s pound for pound rankings, one spot ahead of Kamaru Usman.

Sterling is working on securing his third straight title defense. His last three fights were all somewhat controversial. He won the championship by disqualification after Petr Yan hit Sterling with an illegal knee, won a close rematch, and then defeated TJ Dillashaw. Through it all Sterling has continued to find ways to go home with his hand raised at the end of the night, whether submission, KO, or decision. Sterling’s professional MMA record is 22-3. 



Aljamain Sterling vs Henry Cejudo

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