Aljamain Sterling did just enough to retain his UFC bantamweight title against Henry Cejudo last night (Sat., May 6, 2023) at UFC 288 live on ESPN+ PPV from inside Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., but was his title defense at all controversial?
Cejudo struck first with an impressive takedown along the cage. The champion was able to get back to his feet and fund success with some strikes from range. Sterling would eventually land his own takedown late into the first. Cejudo responded with a head kick in the second that got Sterling’s attention. “Funk Master” regained some momentum with some clean strikes and kicks from range.
Sterling turned the pressure up in the third with a strong clinch along the cage. He ended up landing a hard knee while Cejudo was trying to defend a takedown. Cejudo rebounded to score a takedown against the champion to end the third. The two bantamweights went back-and-forth in the fourth round, but it was Sterling who landed a takedown and a nice combination before the bell.
It was very close entering the fifth and seemed to be anyone’s fight at that point. Cejudo turned the pressure up and chased Sterling around the cage. “Funk Master” seemed to be holding back a bit, but kept moving and stayed out of serious trouble. In the end, it was Sterling who did enough in the eyes of the judges to walk away with the split-decision (47–48, 48–47, 48–47).
Check out the official scorecard below along with some highlights and let us know who you thought won UFC 288’s main event:
The return of Triple C is HERE!@HenryCejudo coming to reclaim bantamweight gold at #UFC288! pic.twitter.com/Arc6FLbn9F— UFC (@ufc) May 7, 2023
The 135-lb king ready to defend his throne @FunkMasterMMA ready to make a statement at #UFC288! pic.twitter.com/5oJhERxDFc— UFC (@ufc) May 7, 2023
HERE. WE. GO.— UFC (@ufc) May 7, 2023
Our #UFC288 main event starts NOW pic.twitter.com/0VAT4wYgfA
Big close to the first round for @FunkMasterMMA #UFC288 pic.twitter.com/1TxHvVgLKm— UFC (@ufc) May 7, 2023
This defence from Cejudo is wild #UFC288 pic.twitter.com/PPgxwUmeqj— UFC (@ufc) May 7, 2023
Henry Cejudo reacts to the decision in our #UFC288 main event pic.twitter.com/09Dc90lbww— UFC (@ufc) May 7, 2023
For complete UFC 288 results, coverage, and highlights click HERE.