Henry Cejudo Returns, Faces Aljamain Sterling at UFC 288

Cejudo vs Sterling

Getty Henry Cejudo vs Aljamain Sterling official for UFC 288

The UFC’s Bantamweight division is gearing up for an interesting match between former Flyweight and Bantamweight double-champion Henry “The Messenger” Cejudo and current Bantamweight champion Aljamain “Funk Master” Sterling. This fight, scheduled for UFC 288 on May 6, is anticipated to bring renewed energy and excitement to the division.

The History of Henry Cejudo Vs. Aljamain Sterling for the Bantamweight Title

Cejudo, also known as “Triple C,” earned his nickname through his impressive achievements in the UFC. In 2018, he defeated Demetrious Johnson in their rematch, claiming the Flyweight belt. The following year, he became a double-champion by defeating Marlon Moraes for the Bantamweight title, which had been vacated by T.J. Dillashaw just three months prior. The ‘Triple’ part of his nickname refers to his gold medal win in wrestling at the 2008 Olympic Games in the 55kg weight category.

Cejudo shocked the combat sports world by announcing his retirement immediately after defending his Bantamweight title against Dominick Cruz at UFC 249. Many people were skeptical about his decision, suspecting that he was using his retirement as a bargaining tool to renegotiate his contract with the UFC. Although he remained inactive for nearly three years, Cejudo continued to stay relevant by publicly calling out whoever held the Bantamweight title during his absence.

Aljamain Sterling’s UFC debut in 2014 was a quiet one, but he made a name for himself after bouncing back from a shocking knockout loss to Marlon Moraes in 2017. He then went on an impressive five-win streak, culminating in a first-round submission of top contender Cory Sandhagen. Sterling’s first shot at the title was against then-champion Petr Yan, where he secured the belt after Yan landed an illegal knee and was disqualified.

Some people called Sterling a “paper champion” and doubted the legitimacy of his victory over Yan. Nevertheless, Sterling silenced his critics by winning a hard-fought, five-round split decision over Yan in their rematch, cementing his position as a legitimate champion. He successfully defended his title for the second time at UFC 280 in October 2022 and is now gearing up to face the lineal Bantamweight champion Henry Cejudo at UFC 288 in May.

Who Else is Fighting at UFC 288?

UFC 288 promises to be an epic event, with an impressive lineup of fan-favorite fighters set to compete. The card features some high-stakes matchups, including a Lightweight title eliminator between No.1 ranked Charles Oliveira and No. 4 Beneil Dariush. Bryce Mitchell, who is looking to bounce back from his first professional defeat, takes on the surging Jonathan Pearce. Kron Gracie, returning to the octagon after a three-year absence, faces the always-tough Charles Jourdain.

The card also includes an exciting women’s matchup, with Marina Rodriguez taking on Virna Jandiroba. Kennedy Nzechukwu will be looking to extend his win streak to four as he faces off against Devin Clark. The Ultimate Fighter alumni André Petroski is aiming for his fifth octagon victory as he goes up against Armenian kickboxer Armen Petrosyan. Zhalgas Zhumagulov is making a comeback from retirement to fight Nate Maness, while Khaos Williams takes on the debuting Rolando Bedoya in what promises to be a thrilling bout. With so many talented fighters on the card, UFC 288 is not to be missed.