UCF 288 will be held Saturday, May 6, from the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. The main event will be a super fight at the 135-pound division between bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling and former bantamweight and flyweight champion Henry Cejudo. Also on the card is a welterweight title eliminator bout between top five fighters Gilbert Burns and Belal Muhammad.
ESPN+ PPV will have live coverage of the main card beginning at 10 p.m. ET. The main preliminary card will be on ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET and the early prelims on UFC Fight Pass at 6 p.m. ET.
Cejudo (18-2) hasn’t been in the octagon in nearly three years. A former Olympic Gold Medal freestyle wrestler, Cejudo is a quick-twitch athlete that uses a lot of shoots, a lot of sudden movements and has exceptional strength for his size and stamina.
His fight with Dillashaw in January 2019 is a perfect example of what makes Cejudo dangerous. Dillashaw was sent to win the flyweight title and likely end the division, He came in as the bigger fighter. But Cejudo surprised Dillarshaw by coming out with high kicks instead of shoots. Dillashaw got partial blocks on both kicks, but Cejudo followed the second kick with a right hand that put Dillashaw on the mat. From there Cejudo went into attack mode and got his stoppage with punches.
The biggest secret to Cejudo is that he’s going to do the opposite of what you expect. Most observers expect this to be a tactical fight on the mat with the wrestler going against the submission specialist, but Cejudo might want this fight to stay in stand-up for as long as possible and try to hurt Sterling that way.
Cejudo is a slight favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook betting at -115.