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Aljamain Sterling vs Henry Cejudo 5/6/2023 Analysis, Picks and Tips

Aljamain Sterling vs Henry Cejudo 5/6/2023 Analysis, Picks and Tips

The Garden State will host a bantamweight blockbuster on Saturday night, as Aljamain “Funk Master” Sterling puts his belt on the line against Henry “The Messenger” Cejudo in the UFC 288 headliner. Cejudo is back from a long layoff, looking to reclaim the throne he once held in two weight classes.

Sterling is the undisputed champ at 135 pounds, but he faces a stiff challenge from Cejudo, who is slightly favored by the oddsmakers. This could be a classic clash of styles and skills, with both men capable of going the full five rounds and delivering some memorable moments.

Aljamain “Funk Master” Sterling has been the bantamweight champion for over a year now. He initially won the belt from Petr Yan at UFC 259 via disqualification. Sterling then defended his title against Yan in a narrow split-decision victory, despite being an underdog going into the rematch. Sterling’s fighting style, which combines jiu-jitsu and wrestling, gives him a solid foundation for his game. He is a force to be reckoned with when he gets his opponents on the ground.

Despite his impressive record, Sterling has yet to have a defining win as a champion. His performances have been somewhat overshadowed by circumstances. He won the title after Yan was disqualified in a fight he was losing, his split decision win in the rematch lacked a certain oomph, and his title defense against TJ Dillashaw was marred by Dillashaw’s pre-existing shoulder injury. Nevertheless, Sterling is undoubtedly one of the best fighters in the division.

Aljamain Sterling vs Henry Cejudo 5/6/2023 Analysis, Picks and Tips

Henry Cejudo, the former UFC bantamweight champion, is making a comeback just three days shy of the three-year anniversary of his last fight, where he defeated Dominick Cruz. Cejudo is known for his exceptional wrestling skills and also sharpened his boxing in his later UFC fights. Despite many deserving contenders, he was granted an immediate title shot against Sterling due to his impressive resume. Cejudo’s tactical approach and well-rounded game make him a tough opponent for anyone. His ground game is particularly impressive, but he also possesses the power to end fights with knockouts.

The UFC 288 co-main event was expected to be a lightweight title eliminator featuring Charles Oliveira and Beneil Dariush, but unfortunately, it was canceled and later rescheduled for UFC 289. In its place, welterweight contenders Belal Muhammad and Gilbert Burns stepped up on short notice to fight in a five-round bout that could determine the next title challenger in the division.

Cejudo’s inactivity is a concern as he’s been away from the UFC for almost three years. However, we’ve seen many fighters take breaks in the past and make triumphant comebacks. A good example is Jon Jones, who returned to defeat Ciryl Gane after a three-year layoff.

Looking ahead, if Sterling successfully defends his title, Sean O’Malley will likely be next in line for a shot at the championship. But if Cejudo manages to win, the bantamweight division’s future could become more unpredictable. With several talented fighters in the division, a shakeup in the rankings could be on the horizon. Expect these two fighters to duke it out until the very end. Ultimately, Go for the current champion to win with Sterling vs. Cejudo prediction. While Cejudo is a worthy challenger, Sterling should be in better shape.

UFC 288 : Sterling vs. Cejudo

May 06, 2023, 10:00 PM EDT 

T-Mobile Arena

Betting Odds:

  • Aljamain Sterling; +100
  • Henry Cejudo; -120

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