Aljamain Sterling vs Henry Cejudo Full Fight UFC 288 Newark Part A
- Posted by unclebob on May 07, 2023
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Aljamain Sterling vs Henry Cejudo UFC 288 Newark Fight Video Full HD Free Stream Replay Part A
Aljamain Sterling looks to defend his belt for the third time when he faces former champion Henry Cejudo on Saturday night in New Jersey at UFC 288.
After a nearly three-year hiatus( he last competed on May 9, 2020), Cejudo, who won and defended the bantamweight strap before retiring, returns and hopes to further his legacy as one of the greatest fighters in combat sports history.
Following contentious victories over Petr Yan( a victory via disqualification and a split decision) and an injured T. J. Dillashaw, Sterling will attempt to solidify his legacy.
I'll outline my analysis and projections for Saturday's tilt( ESPN+ pay-per-view, with main-event walkouts at roughly 11:50 p.m. ET) below and use those factors to place bets on Sterling and Cejudo in the UFC 288 main event.
In contrast to Sterling, who is large for the 135-pound division and may try to move up to 145 with a win on Saturday( to challenge Alexander Volkanovski and allow his teammate and friend Merab Dvaslisvhili to fight for etiquette), Cejudo, an unnatural 125 pound flyweight, is also at an important height( three inches) and reach( seven inches).
I would give Cejudo a cardio advantage in this matchup if he were in his prime. Sterling loses a respectable amount of weight to reach 135, and in the championship rounds of his five-round bouts, he appears to have had cardio issues. Aljo typically sets a great pace by attracting opponents with his volume on the feet, mixing in takedown attempts, and attempting to take their backs— possibly his best form of control in the sport.
Despite Cejudo's mastery of distance management, the reach discrepancy will make it challenging for him to outland Sterling for more than 25 minutes. In this matchup, Sterling is the superior MMA grappler, and Cejudo's ground game— on his back— is a relative mystery. However, he has elite takedown defense( 93%) and is better pure wrestler.
In this matchup, Cejudo will attempt to sprawl, defend takedowns, avoid clinch positions, and maintain a comfortable distance from Sterling so that he can kick Sterling's legs and then use his movement to escape his grasp.
I doubt Cejudo will attempt to start his own offensive takedowns. He can undoubtedly land them, but I have much less faith in his ability to keep Sterling on his back or stop the situation from turning around.
With Cejudo coming off a protracted layoff, I anticipate Sterling to win the early rounds, but I do anticipate that he will remain competitive throughout. Additionally, Cejudo might completely reverse the momentum as he moves down the stretch.
However, it's challenging to wager that a 35-year-old athlete will continue to exercise at the same level as he did three years ago while gaining weight. You can't bet on Cejudo as a favorite purely on the basis of an anticipated stamina advantage, either, given Sterling's physical advantages and the closeness of the skills in other areas of this matchup.
At Fight Ready MMA, Cejudo has developed into a fantastic coach and cornerman. He is highly intelligent in battle, has used a variety of tactics throughout his career, and is almost unmatched in his adaptability. Father Time is still unbeaten, and even if this were the Cejudo from three years ago— whom we fully anticipated seeing in his prime— I would have made this pick-em fight more difficult.
Sterling has more ways to dominate the fight and has a striking volume and control time advantage. I don't see Cejudo dominating minutes against the younger and longer man, who has consistently irritated opponents with his funky style, so any victory for him is either a flash knockout of an intensely contested decision.