UFC 288 live outcomes and analysis: Sterling vs. Cejudo

NEWARK, N.J.– Henry Cejudo retired 3 years earlier, achieving more than 99% of professional athletes ever will. He’s an Olympic gold medalist in fumbling and is among just 4 UFC fighters to hold 2 divisional titles (flyweight and bantamweight, in Cejudo’s case) at the very same time.

Now, Cejudo is back to seal and broaden his tradition. He’ll challenge champ Aljamain Sterling for the UFC bantamweight title that Cejudo never ever lost in the cage Saturday in the primary occasion of UFC 288. On the other side, Sterling is trying to find another effective title defense as he develops his own tradition as one of the very best 135-pound fighters ever. ESPN has Sterling ranked No. 9 in its pound-for-pound mixed martial arts rankings. Cejudo was high up on that list prior to stepping far from the Octagon in 2020.

Sterling (22-3) has actually won 8 straight battles. The local of Long Island, New York City, has 2 effective title defenses at bantamweight, after winning the title by means of DQ from Petr Yan at UFC 259 in March 2021. Sterling, 33, is connected for the most wins in UFC bantamweight history (13, TJ Dillashaw) and the longest active winning streak (8, Merab Dvalishvili).

Cejudo (16-2) was on a six-fight winning streak prior to retiring. The California-born fighter who lives and trains in Arizona ended Demetrious Johnson’s record-setting reign on top of the UFC flyweight department in 2018 and after that, 10 months later on, beat Marlon Moraes to win the uninhabited bantamweight belt. Cejudo, 36, stopped previous champ Dominick Cruz by means of second-round TKO at UFC 249 in May 2020 and after that remarkably revealed his retirement afterwards.

In the co-main occasion, Belal Muhammad and Gilbert Burns will clash on brief notification in a bout that might choose a future UFC welterweight title opposition. Muhammad (22-3, 1 NC), a 34-year-old Chicago local, is unbeaten in 9 straight battles. Burns (22-5), a 36-year-old Brazilian who lives and trains in Florida, has actually won 2 in a row and 9 of his previous 11. ESPN ranks Burns No. 4 and Muhammad No. 5 worldwide at welterweight.

Likewise on the card, Jessica Andrade and Yan Xiaonan will complete in a leading females’s strawweight competitor bout, Kron Gracie returns after almost 4 years to combat Charles Jourdain at featherweight, and Drew Dober battles New Yorker Matt Frevola in what ought to be an all-action light-weight battle.

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