UFC 288 Fight Breakdown: Aljamain Sterling vs. Henry Cejudo


MMAOB staff writer Adam Martin takes a deeper look at the main event of UFC 288, a five-round bantamweight title fight between champion Aljamain Sterling and Henry Cejudo. The event takes place on Saturday, May 6 at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.

Aljamain Sterling (-110)

Sterling (22-2) is the UFC bantamweight champion. The 33-year-old American is 14-3 in the UFC and he has notable wins over the likes of Petr Yan, Pedro Munhoz, Cory Sandhagen, and TJ Dillashaw. Sterling is an elite grappler who has pulled off some of the craziest submissions we have ever seen in the sport. He has also proven that he has what it takes to be a champion after so many years as a top contender. Now, Sterling puts his belt on the line against Cejudo. It’s a chance for Sterling to put another huge name on his resume, and we’ll soon find out if that will be the case.

Henry Cejudo (-110)

Cejudo (16-2) is the former UFC bantamweight and flyweight champion. The 36-year-old American is returning to the Octagon for the first time since 2020. Prior to retiring, Cejudo had five straight wins, including knockouts over Dominick Cruz, Marlon Moraes, and TJ Dillashaw. He has a 10-2 overall record in the UFC and he has Olympic-caliber wrestling skills plus big finishing power. He is an elite athlete and Cejudo is looking to return with a bang by getting his title back at UFC 288.

Fight Breakdown: The main event of UFC 288 should be an incredible fight between the champ Sterling and the former champ Cejudo. Both guys are elite fighters and this should be a treat to watch. It’s a fight between two men who have made a career with their grappling skills, but in a fight like this, it feels like the grappling will be canceled out and it will come down to who wins the striking exchanges. Both Sterling and Cejudo have solid standup, with Sterling throwing a variety of strikes and more volume, but Cejudo possesses the big power. And I think it’s that power that will be the ultimate decider in this fight. Even with the long layoff, I see Cejudo coming back into the Octagon and getting his belt back with a knockout win over Sterling. Both guys are great fighters, but I will be going with the better athlete in this fight and that’s Cejudo, who I’m picking to get the knockout win.

Prediction: Henry Cejudo via TKO

Written by Adam Martin.


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