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UFC 288: Cejudo Will Challenge Aljamain Sterling for the Bantamweight Title

Written by: Ryan Bristlon
Published May 2, 2023
11 min read
  • Former two-division champ Henry Cejudo comes out of retirement
  • Cejudo will challenge Aljamain Sterling for the bantamweight title
  • Belal Muhammad takes on Gilbert Burns in a rare five-round co-main event

UFC 288: Sterling vs Cejudo

The odds for this match are provided by the DraftKings Sportsbook. Click the link to place your bets.

Fighter

Odds

(C) Aljamain Sterling

-105
BET HERE

Henry Cejudo

-115
BET HERE 

Fighter

Odds

Belal Muhammad

+110
BET HERE 

Gilbert Burns

-130
BET HERE 

Fighter

Odds

Jessica Andrade

-165
BET HERE 

Yan Xiaonan

+140
BET HERE 

Fighter

Odds

Movsar Evloev

-265
BET HERE 

Bryce Mitchell

+225
BET HERE 

Fighter

Odds

Kron Gracie

+160
BET HERE 

Charles Jourdain

-190
BET HERE 

UFC 288: Sterling vs Cejudo - Picks & Predictions

(C) Aljamain Sterling vs Henry Cejudo - Bantamweight Championship

Aljamain Sterling (-110)

Belal Muhammad vs Gilbert Burns - Welterweight Division

Belal Muhammad (+110)

Jessica Andrade vs Yan Xiaonan - Women’s Strawweight Division

Jessica Andrade (-165)

Movsar Evloev vs Bryce Mitchell - Featherweight Division

Movsar Evloev (-265)

Kron Gracie vs Charles Jourdain - Featherweight Division

Charles Jourdain (-190)

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UFC 288: Sterling vs Cejudo

Aljamain Sterling vs Henry Cejudo - Bantamweight Championship

Aljamain Sterling

TALE OF THE TAPE

Henry Cejudo

33

Age

36

5 ft 7 in

Height

5 ft 4 in

71 in

Reach

64 in

22-3

Record

16-2

On what will be almost three years from the date he retired, former two-division UFC champion and Olympic gold medalist Henry Cejudo will return to the octagon to challenge Aljamain Sterling for the title he retired with.

Cejudo last fought in May of 2020 at UFC 249 where he defended his title against Dominick Cruz via second-round TKO. He retired holding both the bantamweight and flyweight titles.

Current champion Aljamain Sterling won his title in controversial fashion from Petr Yan, who was disqualified due to an illegal knee. However, Sterling silenced the doubters when the two rematched and Sterling earned a split-decision win over Yan at UFC 273.

Sterling defended his title once more against another returning champion in T.J. Dillashaw. Sterling won the fight, which took place last October, via second-round TKO.

Despite his recent wins coming with some controversy, you can’t write Sterling out of this one. Cejudo is a very credentialed fighter - one of the best combat sports athletes of all time. But a three-year layoff is likely going to cause problems.

However, in the eyes of the oddsmakers, it is Cejudo who edges out Sterling as the favorite - listed as -115 to Sterling’s -110.

To find out how to place your bets for this bantamweight title main event, check out our ultimate UFC betting guide to get started.

Belal Muhammad vs Gilbert Burns - Welterweight Division

Belal Muhammad

TALE OF THE TAPE

Gilbert Burns

34

Age

36

5 ft 10 in

Height

5 ft 10 in

72 in

Reach

71 in

22-3, 1 no-contest

Record

22-5

In yet another quick turnaround, Gilbert Burns will participate in what will already be his third fight of 2023 when he takes on Belal Muhammad in a five-round co-main event. Five-round co-main events are incredibly rare and it is believed that the winner of this bout will be next in line to fight Leon Edwards for the UFC welterweight championship.

Burns defeated Neil Magny via first-round submission this past January and is coming off of a unanimous decision win over Jorge Masvidal that took place just one month ago on April 8 at UFC 287.

Muhammad has yet to fight in 2023 but is currently riding an eight-fight winning streak (with one no-contest). He most recently defeated Sean Brady via second-round TKO at UFC 280 last October.

Muhammad will have a slight edge in reach but his powerful wrestling may be nullified by the third-degree black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu held by Gilbert Burns.

Burns, already a former welterweight title challenger, is the -130 favorite.

Jessica Andrade vs Yan Xiaonan - Women’s Strawweight Division

Jessica Andrade

TALE OF THE TAPE

Yan Xiaonan

31

Age

33

5 ft 2 in

Height

5 ft 5 in

62 in

Reach

63 in

24-10

Record

16-3, 1 no-contest

Former women’s strawweight champion Jessica Andrade left for a stint in the flyweight division but returned to strawweight in 2022 and has since gone 2-1.

Andrade lost her most recent bout at the hands of Erin Blanchfield, who submitted the former champ in the second round of their Fight Night main event this past February.

Her opponent, Yan Xiaonan, recently snapped a two-fight losing streak with her recent win over Mackenzie Dern in their main event bout last October.

Xiaonan will stand three inches taller and have a one-inch reach advantage. However, the former champion and BJJ black belt Andrade is listed as the -165 favorite to win.

Movsar Evloev vs Bryce Mitchell - Featherweight Division

Movsar Evloev

TALE OF THE TAPE

Bryce Mitchell

29

Age

28

5 ft 8 in

Height

5 ft 9 in

72.5 in

Reach

70 in

16-0

Record

15-1

Some may be surprised to see BJJ black belt Bryce Mitchell listed as the biggest underdog on the main card (+225) despite the fact that he was undefeated up until his most recent bout in which he lost via second-round submission to Ilia Topuria at UFC 282 last December.

Prior to the loss, Mitchell had won 15-straight, including six in a row in the UFC.

However, others may not be surprised by these odds as Mitchell is set to take on the undefeated Movsar Evloev.

Evloev has won 16-straight, including six in a row in the UFC. His most recent win came via a unanimous decision over Dan Ige last June.

Mitchell is the taller man but Evloev, a wrestling specialist, will have a 2.5-inch reach advantage.

Kron Gracie vs Charles Jourdain - Featherweight Division

Kron Gracie

TALE OF THE TAPE

Charles Jourdain

34

Age

27

5 ft 9 in

Height

5 ft 9 in

70 in

Reach

69 in

5-1

Record

13-6-1

Grappling world champion with a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt to his name, Kron Gracie - a member of the legendary Gracie family that helped popularize the sport of mixed martial arts, returns to action this Saturday with hopes of returning to the win column.

Gracie debuted with the UFC in 2019, winning his debut over Alex Caceres via submission. However, in his most recent bout against Cub Swanson in October 2019, Gracie was defeated via unanimous decision. This will be his first fight in more than three years.

He takes on Charles Jourdain, a fighter in the midst of a two-fight losing streak. 

Also a BJJ black belt, Jourdain dropped two decisions in 2022 against Shane Burgos and Nathaniel Wood. This will be his first fight of 2023.

Both men stand at equal height but Gracie will have the one-inch advantage in reach. And, despite both men holding black belts, Gracie’s caliber of grappling is definitely a step above that of Charles Jourdain. However, likely due to his inactivity, Gracie is the one listed as the +160 underdog.

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How to Watch UFC 288: Sterling vs Cejudo

  • LOCATION: Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey
  • WHEN: Saturday, May 6
  • TIME: 10 PM EST
  • HOW: PPV, UFC Fight Pass, ESPN+
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AUTHOR

Ryan Bristlon

433 Articles

Ryan Bristlon is a Canadian writer currently residing in Hamilton, Ontario. He studied print and broadcast journalism at Humber College and has been a lifelong fan of the sport of hockey and the NHL.



Email: [email protected]

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