Former two-division champion, Henry Cejudo, looks to embark on the “C4 Era” this Saturday (May 6, 2023) when he battles Bantamweight roost-ruler, Aljamain Sterling, for his former 135-pound title in UFC 288’s pay-per-view (PPV) main event. Fight fans will also get to see Gilbert Burns make a one-month turnaround against the implacable Belal Muhammad and Jessica Andrade battle Yan Xiaonan in a clash of Strawweight sluggers.
A fat wallet goes a long way toward beating the summer heat, so let’s see if we can’t help out ...
What Went Wrong at UFC Vegas 72?
Marcos Rogerio De Lima
I would have preferred he kept his foot on the gas, but 29-28 is just as much a win as 30-27.
Very fortunate, both that the judges valued Buday’s clinch strikes over Jake Collier’s control in the second round and that Collier blew it with that lake takedown attempt. Poor performance overall from Buday, though the scoreboard is all that matters.
I knew he had the heart after watching him claw for takedowns to the very end against Chris Curtis, and it carried him to victory this time.
UFC 288 Odds For The Under Card:
Drew Dober (-205) vs. Matt Frevola (+175)
I like the looks of Dober here because Frevola’s only real threat is his wrestling. Indeed, Dober has heavier, sharper hands and a stronger chin. Frevola’s wrestling has been hit-or-miss against higher-level opponents and he’s prone to slugging it out, so Dober seems like a safe investment.
Kennedy Nzechukwu (-190) vs. Devin Clark (+160)
Just a lil’ smidge on Clark. Nzechukwu has struggled with persistent wrestlers before, and while Clark does have a habit of beefing it on the big stage, he’s coming off a real nice win over Da Un Jung that gives me a bit of confidence.
Khaos Williams (-305) vs. Rolando Bedoya (+255)
Using Williams to stuff parlays isn’t the worst idea. Bedoya is a willing slugger with shaky striking defense who’s been hurt by a lesser puncher than Williams in the past.
Marina Rodriguez (-140) vs. Virna Jandiroba (+120)
I’m down to bet on Jandiroba as the underdog. Rodriguez’s takedown defense continues to be a serious issue for her, one that the incredibly strong and ground-savvy Jandiroba is perfectly equipped to exploit. Between her wrestling skills and aggression, Jandiroba has the means to keep Rodriguez on the back foot and prevent her from building steam. Just keep the investment limited, as “Carcara” has faded in the past and made some questionable decisions in the cage.
Parker Porter (-165) bs. Braxton Smith (+140)
Braxton Smith just is not very good. He’s got a telegraphed right hand and very little else; Porter may be undersized and limited, but this is the level of opponent his grinding style thrives against. Count me in.
Ikram Aliskerov (-210) vs. Phil Hawes (+180)
Skip it. Hawes can potentially overpower Aliskerov on the feet, but he’s so boom-or-bust that it’s not worth betting on his fights unless it’s a blatant mismatch.
Rafael Estevam (-180) vs. Zhalgas Zhumagulov (+155)
Skip it. Zhumagulov seems like he’s cursed, so even if he does survive Estevam’s top control and beat him up on the feet, there’s no telling whether he’ll actually get the decision.
Daniel Santos (-190) vs. Johnny Munoz Jr. (+160)
Just a bit down on Santos. Constant pressure, great scrambling and a deep gas tank are all excellent weapons against Munoz. “Kid Kvenbo” has big height and reach advantages, which Santos can struggle with, but “Willycat” gets stronger as the fight progresses and Munoz tends to fade.
UFC 288 Odds For The Main Card:
Henry Cejudo (-115) vs. Aljamain Sterling (-105)
Cejudo’s been out for ages and there’s no telling how he’ll look in the cage, so I ain’t touching it.
Gilbert Burns (-125) vs. Belal Muhammad (+105)
Probably too close to call. It you’re going to bet on it, put a bit on Muhammad just based on Burns’ quick turnaround and “Remember the Name’s” strong takedown defense.
Jessica Andrade (-200) vs. Yan Xiaonan (+170)
Andrade may have let me down against Erin Blanchfield, but this seems like a much more winnable match, largely because of Yan’s lingering wrestling issues. Andrade is a much more fearsome takedown artist than Mackenzie Dern, both in terms of actual technical wrestling skills and the fact that she’s a threat on the feet.
Movsar Evloev (N/A) vs. Diego Lopes (N/A)
No odds at time of writing for this one.
Charles Jourdain (-180) vs. Kron Gracie (+155)
After watching Jourdain give up his neck to Julian Erosa in a fight he was dominating, I wouldn’t bet on this even at the best of times. The fact that Gracie hasn’t fought in more than 3.5 years just makes it that much easier to skip.
UFC 288 Best Bets:
- Single bet — Virna Jandiroba: Bet $40 to make $48
- Single bet — Devin Clark: Bet $30 to make $48
- Single bet — Parker Porter: Bet $40 to make $24.24
- Parlay — Drew Dober and Jessica Andrade: Bet $40 to make $49.20
- Parlay — Khaos Williams and Daniel Santos: Bet $40 to make $41
It’s taken a beating, but UFC 288 made it to the finish line with a bit of lingering luster. See you Saturday, Maniacs.
Initial Investment For 2023: $600
April Bailout: $400
Current Total: $489.07
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 288 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard on ESPN/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.
To check out the latest and greatest UFC 288: “Sterling vs. Cejudo” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.