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Cejudo Makes Return to Face Sterling for Title on UFC 288

Cejudo Makes Return to Face Sterling for Title on UFC 288

UFC is back in the Garden State on Saturday night with an interesting title tilt.  Specifically, Bantamweight king Aljamain Sterling looks to secure a signature win when he takes on former two-division champion Henry Cejudo in the main.  UFC 288 from the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, is host to this epic UFC betting showdown.  Consider that Cejudo will end a nearly three-year absence when he walks out to the octagon.  Sterling has carried the UFC bantamweight championship out of his last three fights, but a championship-defining win still eludes him.

UFC  288 – Sterling vs. Cejudo Main Card Odds

Date:  Saturday, May 6, 2023, 10 p.m. ET

Location:  Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey

UFC TV Coverage:  ESPN+

UFC 288 Odds:   C-Aljamain Sterling -105 vs. Henry Cejudo -115, #4 Belal Muhammad +105 vs. #5 Gilbert Burns -125, #4 Jessica Andrade -190 vs. #6 Xiaonan Yan +160, #10 Movsar Evloev -260 vs. #11 Bryce Mitchell +220, Kron Gracie +160 vs. Charles Jourdain -190

Sterling vs. Cejudo Overview

Sterling is certainly the best top online sportsbook fighter in the division.  But his performances are often overshadowed by circumstance.  He took the title off Yan via disqualification in a losing fight.  And then his split decision win in the rematch lacked oomph.  At the same time, his title defense against TJ Dillashaw was marred by Dillashaw’s pre-existing shoulder injury.

Meanwhile, Cejudo retired as UFC bantamweight champion.  And he returns three days short of the three-year anniversary of his last UFC bets fight.  That fight was a win over Dominick Cruz.  Of course, Cejudo is the most accomplished wrestler in UFC history.  And he developed sharp boxing in the late stages of his UFC run.  In turn, he is the benefactor of an immediate title shot over a queue of deserving contenders.  Cejudo is talented enough to give Sterling a run for his money.

Main Event Analysis – Sterling vs. Cejudo

It is true that Henry Cejudo could end up being the Fighter of the Year in 2023.  His accomplishments get overlooked.  Cause by his “King of Cringe” gimmick he likes to portray.  But this man was at the top of the sport when he retired in 2020.  If he is still at that level, anything is possible.

Gamblers wonder what if Cejudo beats Sterling, which he is currently a betting favorite to do, despite three years off?  What if he then goes and beats Sean O’Malley?  And then what if the UFC allows him to move up to 145 pounds to challenge featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski? 

To summarize, if Cejudo can pull off that run, it could be the greatest year in UFC history.  That’s the level of accomplishment at stake on Saturday night.

Meanwhile, Sterling seems to be comfortable with his MMA betting status finally.  Previously, he felt he had to explain himself after winning the title belt.  Cause by the win being by disqualification against Peter Yan in March 2021.  Since then, he’s gone on to beat Yan in a rematch.  And then he completely dismantled TJ Dillashaw.  Still, he has Online sportsbook critics.  Yet Sterling no longer seems to care genuinely.  And that is a liberating place to be.

If Sterling beats Cejudo, the rest of 2023 is set up similarly to Cejudo’s.  First, beat O’Malley, and Sterling gets a featherweight title shot.  In turn, the only reason his year would be slightly less historically impressive than Cejudo’s is that Cejudo would be vying to become an unprecedented three-division UFC champ.  Still, regardless of who it is, the winner is on a path to the potential fighter of the year.

UFC  288 – Sterling vs. Cejudo Bout Free Picks 

As mentioned earlier, Henry Cejudo returns to the octagon after a three-year absence.  Meanwhile, Aljamain Sterling has solidified his status as the true champion.  The wrong combatant is favored in his one.

UFC  288 – Sterling vs. Cejudo CashBet Best Bet

Aljamain Sterling


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