Henry Cejudo challenges Aljamain Sterling for UFC Bantamweight Championship in the main event of UFC 288, and we will be here with all the live updates from the bout.
Aljamain Sterling is on an incredible 8-fights winning streak dating back to April 2018. He won the UFC Bantamweight title at UFC 259 from Petr Yan and has been dealing with injuries since then. He has defended the title just twice in the last two years with successful defenses against Petr Yan and TJ Dillashaw. However, there is a question mark hanging on his title reign with the title win via disqualification, and two sketchy title defenses.
Henry Cejudo returns to the octagon for the first time since June 2020 when he defended this title against Dominick Cruz. Cejudo then retired from MMA and moved into coaching. However, he is now returning on popular demand to face Sterling. Will he be successful in his return?
Join us in the live blog to find out as we post live play-by-play and round-by-round updates from Aljamain Sterling vs Henry Cejudo bantamweight championship main event bout at UFC 288 PPV.
Cejudo walks about first and is pumped for it. Sterling comes out shortly after and takes his time at the cage door before getting in. He does a cartwheel in the cage. Bruce Buffer says it’s time.
Sterling takes a quick start but misses his swing. He lands an inside calf kick. Cejudo blocks his knee strike but gets his back into the cage. Cejudo has not landed anyhing in the first minute. Sterling has been the agressor. Cejudo ducks a swing and takes down Sterling. Cejudo is now attempting to work on the mat. Sterling closes his body and does not allow Cejudo to work on much. Sterling is back on his knees. Cejudo has the front face lock on. They get back up and Cejudo lands a left kick and a right hand.
Both men throw shots at each other. Cejudo pins Sterling to the cage. Sterling gets out of the corner quickly. Cejudo goes for a takedown but Sterling gets out of his grip quickly. Cejudo is controlling the body from the front. Sterling then attempts and gets a takedown after tripping Cejudo. Sterling lands knee strikes to Cejudo’s ribs. Sterling lands more knees to his body. Cejudo gets to his feet but Sterling trips him again. Sterling gets on his back and hits more knees.
Henry attempts a high kick but it does not land. He ducks a high kick from Sterling. Sterling lands low calf kicks. They throw hands at each other. Cejudo lands a calf kick. Sterling catches Cejudo’s leg in a body kick. Cejudo lands a high kick to Sterling’s face. Cejudo blocks a takedown attempt. Sterling feints a knee but lands a left hook. Sterling lands some low leg kicks. Cejudo blocks another takedown. Cejudo hits a low kick. Sterling lands his left twice in quick succession. Cejudo lands a right in reply.
Cejudo ducks a right and lands a left on the body. another low kick from Cejudo before Sterling pushes him back jabs. Sterling lands a jab on the body. Cejudo goes high with a kick. Sterling lands a low kick. Sterling hits a spinning back fist. Cejudo replies with a couple of punches. Cejudo lands a kick to the head. Sterling lands a jab to the body. Cejudo lands a combo. Sterling lands a kick. Cejudo blocks a knee before they trade calf kicks. Cejudo lands a big right. Sterling woth some inside calf kicks. A quick scramble ends the round.
They both land kicks and punches in the first 20 seconds. Sterling lands an overhead left before Cejudo counters with a right. He goes for a takedown but Sterling gets low. Cejudo has control from the front but can not do anything. More punches and kicks from both side as they get back to the middle. Sterling goes for a takedown now but Cejudo pushes him against the cage now. Sterling hits a few knees ot the body before turning Cejudo around to the cage.
Sterling lands a knee to the face and a knee to the body as Cejudo tries to break free. Sterling keeps him pinned to the cage. Sterling has control for more than a minute before they get back to the middle. Sterling goes for another takedown. Cejudo defends the takedown and gets on the front face lock. Cejudo lands a few shots at his ribs. Sterling keeps looking for takedown from the waist but has to get back up ultimately. They trade punches and knee strikes. Cejudo secures a takedown with just 15 seconds to go.
Sterling starts with some outside calf kicks. Cejudo lands one too when Sterling was looking for a punch. Sterling sneaks in a jab. Sterling lands more calf kicks. Cejudo lands a jab and an inside calf kick. Sterling catches him with a jab. Cejudo lands a knee. Cejudo pushes Sterling back with some quick punches. Cejudo pins Sterling to the cage. Both men land shots on the ribs in that position. Back to the middle, more punches before Sterling lands a calf kick. Cejudo lands a good jab. Cejudo pushes Sterling to the cage again but Sterling quickly turns him towards the cage. They get back to the middle now. More tussle now as they both attempt takedowns. Sterling completes it near the end of the round.
Sterling amps himself up before the round starts. Cejudo ducks a high kick but Sterling lands a calf kick. Cejudo lands a jab as they both keep moving around the cage. Cejudo lands one kick to the ribs. Sterling lands a high kick. Sterling misses a swing and Cejudo lands a shot to the body. Sterling dodges a few jabs before Cejudo lands right. Sterling hits a spinning heel kick. Sterling ducks a jab and lands a hook. Sterling hits a spinning kick to the body. Cejudo catches him with a left. Cejudo goes for a single leg but has to content with some punches. Sterling lands a body kick before connecting a jab. Sterling goes for a takedown but Cejudo defends it. Cejudo lands a knee to the body. They scramble near the cage as the final minute starts. Cejudo gets a takedown with a single leg. He backs Sterling across the cage before taking down Sterling. Sterling does not allow him to get anything done from their. A scramble ends the round.
Aljamain Sterling wins via split decision(47-48, 48-47, 48-47).