It looks like we have a date for the highly anticipated UFC bantamweight title fight between Aljamain Sterling (22-3) and Henry Cejudo (16-2). After initially being linked to April’s UFC 287, MMA Fighting was the first to report that the bout is scheduled to now take place at UFC 288 on May 6th.
This is the second time that the promotion has pushed back it’s target date for this fight. Originally, they wanted this fight to take place in March. After Sterling pushed back, they pivoted to April. Now, it feels official after Sterling announced the May date on his YouTube page.
UFC 288 will mark the return of Henry Cejudo. It will have been nearly three years since Cejudo walked away back in 2020 after defeating Dominick Cruz to retain his title. Cejudo was on top of the world and decided it was time to walk away. However, he always kept the door open for a return.
Three years later, that return has arrived. Cejudo brings a style that’s going to be incredibly difficult for Sterling to deal with. Sterling relies on his wrestling and grappling to defeat his opponents. Well, he’s never been in there with someone who has the wrestling credentials of Henry Cejudo.
Cejudo has goals of becoming a champion in three divisions inside the UFC. He’s been the flyweight and bantamweight champion. He’s hoping to regain the bantamweight title, defend it, then move up to featherweight to challenge for that title.
That said, Aljamain Sterling is hoping all the “C4” talk is premature. Sterling’s title reign so far has been memorable for all the wrong reasons. He won the title by DQ. Defended in a highly contested split decision then fought TJ Dillashaw who was compromised with a shoulder.
None of this is Sterling’s fault. He’s gone out and done what he’s had to do. That said, there are still questions out there regarding his status as the best bantamweight in the world. This fight with Henry Cejudo should silence every one once and for all regardless of the outcome.