UFC 288
Aljamain Sterling +105 over Henry Cejudo

Posted at 9:45 AM EST. Odds subject to change.

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UFC 288

Prudential Center - Newark, NJ

Aljamain Sterling +105 over Henry Cejudo

10:50 PM EST. Aljamain Sterling brings an eight-fight win streak into this title defense, with victories over two former champions. He’s also had success against three current top-10 fighters, but nobody wants to talk about that. No, all anyone wants to talk about is the controversial way in which Sterling captured this championship.

There is a misconception among some in the market that Sterling was lucky to win the bantamweight title against Petr Yan. This sentiment likely stems from the controversial nature of the bout's ending, where Yan was disqualified for landing an illegal knee on Sterling in the fourth round. However, it is important to note that Sterling was performing well up until that point, utilizing his wrestling and grappling skills to control Yan and win rounds on the scorecards. Additionally, Sterling's impressive resume leading up to the title fight cannot be ignored. He had already defeated former champions like Cody Garbrandt and Rafael Assuncao, as well as top-ranked contenders like Cory Sandhagen and Jimmie Rivera.

While Sterling is not known for his striking prowess, his statistics show that he has better defense than his opponents, including Yan and Sandhagen. He has also demonstrated his ability to transition his collegiate wrestling background into a formidable submission game, with four tap-outs under his UFC belt, each unique in its own right.

The main question for this fight is how Sterling can utilize his wrestling against Cejudo. While Cejudo may have an Olympic medal and two UFC championships under his belt, his performances at 135 pounds have not been particularly impressive, with victories over fighters like Marlon Moraes and Dominick Cruz, who have not been at their best in recent outings.

Furthermore, Cejudo has not fought in nearly three years, and while gym cardio and competition cardio are not identical, it may still be a factor in his performance. It is worth noting that there are rumors that Henry Cejudo's return to the Octagon is motivated by money. While the former Olympic gold medalist has publicly stated his desire to recapture the bantamweight title, some MMA analysts have speculated that the allure of a big payday may be a significant factor in his decision to come out of retirement.

It is impossible to know for sure what motivates any fighter, but it is clear that Cejudo's return is not without financial incentives. This may be something to consider when evaluating his readiness and motivation for this fight. In contrast, Aljamain Sterling's consistent performance and hunger for success may make him a more reliable and dedicated contender.

To close, while the ending of the Yan fight was certainly unusual, it is unfair to diminish Sterling's accomplishments and label him as lucky. He defended the belt against Yan in the rematch and he knocked off former champion TJ Dillashaw in his last defense. Sterling has consistently proven himself as one of the best bantamweights in the world, and his fight tonight with Cejudo will be another opportunity for him to showcase his skills and cement his status as a legitimate champion.



Our Pick

Aljamain Sterling +105 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.10)