UFC 288 live results and analysis: Sterling vs. Cejudo ESPN
Brett OkamotoESPN Staff Writer
- MMA columnist for ESPN.com
- Analyst for "MMA Live"
- Covered MMA for Las Vegas Sun
NEWARK, N.J. -- Henry Cejudo retired three years ago, accomplishing more than 99% of athletes ever will. He's an Olympic gold medalist in wrestling and is one of only four UFC fighters to hold two divisional titles (flyweight and bantamweight, in Cejudo's case) at the same time.
Now, Cejudo is back to cement and expand his legacy. He'll challenge champion Aljamain Sterling for the UFC bantamweight title that Cejudo never lost in the cage Saturday in the main event of UFC 288. On the other side, Sterling is looking for another successful title defense as he builds his own legacy as one of the best 135-pound fighters ever.
Sterling (22-3) has won eight straight fights. The native of Long Island, New York, has two successful title defenses at bantamweight, after winning the title via DQ from Petr Yan at UFC 259 in March 2021. Sterling, 33, is tied for the most wins in UFC bantamweight history (13, TJ Dillashaw) and the longest active winning streak (8, Merab Dvalishvili).
Cejudo (16-2) was on a six-fight winning streak before retiring. The California-born fighter who lives and trains in Arizona ended Demetrious Johnson's record-setting reign on top of the UFC flyweight division in 2018 and then, 10 months later, beat Marlon Moraes to win the vacant bantamweight belt. Cejudo, 36, stopped former champion Dominick Cruz via second-round TKO at UFC 249 in May 2020 and then surprisingly announced his retirement thereafter.
Follow along as Brett Okamoto and Marc Raimondi break down everything that happens at UFC 288.