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UFC 288 Results – Sterling Halts the Return of Triple C

The UFC 288 Results have aired live on pay-per-view this Saturday May 6, 2023. The event was held at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ airing at 9:00pm CDT with early prelims starting at 5:30pm CDT.

Main Event

In the UFC 288 main event, bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling welcomed back former 2 division champion, Henry Cejudo, from a three year hiatus.

It didn’t take long for the Olympic gold medalist Henry Cejudo to look for a takedown against the bantamweight champion. It also didn’t take very long for Sterling to find his way off the mat and back to his feet. The back and forth of the first round definitely appeared to favor the champion as he ended the round in dominant fashion. 10-9 Sterling

Sterling landing a big left after controlling the back of Cejudo
courtesy of ESPN+/UFC

Round 2 was a lot closer. It still appeared that Sterling was busier and landing more damaging shots. This was all possible due to Sterling’s excellent control of the range, with his 7 inch reach advantage. 10-9 Sterling.

Round 3 Some more success was found by the champion in the first half of the round. Another takedown attempt from Sterling resulted in an excellent sprawl from Cejudo which ended in a stalemate. Cejudo secured a takedown which could have stolen the round but he didn’t have time to work from Sterling’s guard. 10-9 Sterling.

Aljamain Sterling sends a knee to Cejudo in round 3 UFC 288
Aljamain Sterling sends a knee to Cejudo in round 3
courtesy of UFC/ESPN+

R4 Henry Cejudo found more success striking in the first half of this round then through the first three rounds. Sterling began to mount more of an offensive toward the second half of the round. He even secured the blow oddly defended takedown attempt near the end of the round, possibly stealing the forth round.

Henry Cejudo attempting to stop a Sterling takedown at UFC 288
Henry Cejudo attempting to stop a Sterling takedown at UFC 288
courtesy of UFC/ESPN+

R5 the fighters were ready to put on a show. Cejudo began to stalk the champion who effortlessly navigated his opponents range. Halfway into the round, Cejudo began to find success with his boxing and kept closing the distance. Another shot from Sterling was stuffed by another sprawl from Cejudo. Finally, a big takedown from Cejudo came with under a minute left in the fight. He struggled at the back of Sterling who was able to spin around as the fight ended in a clinch against the cage, in what was Cejudo’s best round.

Henry Cejudo’s late round 5 takedown
courtesy of UFC/ESPN+

Finally, the judges read the scorecards. 48-47 Cejudo, 48-47 Sterling, 48-47 Sterling for the reigning and still champion, Aljamain Sterling.

Co-main Event

Top ten welterweights met in the UFC 288 co-main event. 5th ranked Gilbert Burns took on #4 Belal Muhammad in a fight with title implications a plenty. Burns came back with just a month off from his last UFC showing, when he headlined a Fight Night with Jorge Masvidal. Both fighters have been chomping at the bit to face the winner of Edwards vs Covington.

Burns did not appear to throw many left hands in the beginning of the fight. It stayed striking with only one takedown attempt from Burns which proved unsuccessful. The commentators speculated that Burns fell on his shoulder during the fights only takedown attempt. After watching the fight again, it did appear that he fell on the shoulder awkwardly but it appeared to only reactivate something already there.

UFC 288 Burns taking Muhammad down
Burns only takedown at UFC 288
courtesy of UFC/ESPN+

In the end it was the punishing kicks of Belal that proved too much for an injured Gilbert Burns. The judges saw it the same way and scored the fight 50-45, 49-46, 49-46 for Belal ‘Remember the Name’ Muhammad.

Belal Muhammad takes the unanimous decision win at UFC 288
courtesy of UFC/ESPN+

UFC 288 Results

Main Card (aired on pay-per-view at 9:00pm CDT)

Aljamain Sterling #c (22-3-0), (-110) vs Henry Cejudo (16-2-0), (-110) – bantamweight title fight – Sterling by split decision

Belal Muhammad #4 (22-3-0), (+105) vs Gilbert Burns #5 (22-5-0), (-125) – welterweight bout – Muhammad by unanimous decision

Jessica Andrade (24-10-0), (-190) vs Yan Xiaonan (16-3-0), (+160) – women’s strawweight bout – Xiaonan by 1st round TKO

Movsar Evloev (16-0-0), (-260) vs Diego Lopes (), (+220) – featherweight bout – Evloev by unanimous decision

Kron Gracie (5-1-0), (+145) vs Charles Jourdain (13-6-1), (-170) – featherweight bout – Jourdain by unanimous decision

Prelims (Aired on ESPN and ESPN+ at 7:00pm CDT)

Drew Dober (26-11-0), (-210) vs Matt Frevola (10-3-1), (+180) – lightweight bout – Frevola by 1st round TKO

Kennedy Nzechukwu (11-3-0), (-180) vs Devin Clark (14-7-0), (+155) – light heavyweight bout – Nzechukwu by round 2 submission

Khaos Williams (13-3-0), () vs Rolando Bedoya (), () – Williams by split decision

Marina Rodriguez (16-2-2), (-140) vs Virna Jandiroba (18-3-0), (+120) – women’s Strawweight bout – Jandiroba by unanimous decision

Early Prelims (Aired on UFC Fight Pass at 5:30pm CDT)

Braxton Smith (5-1-0), () vs Parker Porter (13-8-0), () – heavyweight bout – Porter by 1st round KO/TKO

Phil Hawes (12-4-0), () vs Ikram Aliskerov (13-1-0), () – Aliskerov by 1st round KO/TKO

Joseph Holmes (8-3-0), (+140) vs Claudio Ribeiro (10-3-0), (-165) – middleweight bout – Ribeiro by 2nd round KO/TKO

That wraps it up for the UFC 288 results. If you enjoyed this article and want to see more of our UFC MMA action (and we certainly hope you do), follow the link. Check back with us for the next UFC Saturday, May 13, 2023 when the UFC returns to ESPN with heavyweights Rozenstruik vs Almeida. Rozenstruik will look to put back to back wins together after his December win against Chris Daukaus and Almeida looks to move up in the rankings after a fifth straight win in the UFC.

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