The ongoing saga of when Aljamain Sterling will fight Henry Cejudo appears to now be coming to a conclusion with the current bantamweight champion announcing that it’s targeted for UFC 288 on May 6th.
“I can’t wait for this matchup, because I think that it’s two guys that won’t back down, and I think the wrestling might cancel each other out – we will see if I’m able to rag-doll him,” Sterling said on his YouTube channel yesterday. “We’re going to figure it out in the first five minutes, and from there, we’ll figure out if we want to waste a ton of energy grappling, or do we want to put [our fists] to the test and show the world what high-level grapplers can actually do when it comes to striking.
“I know you guys were impressed with [Kamaru] Usman vs. Colby Covington, that was a striker’s delight, and I would not be surprised if this fight is exactly the same. … Henry, I cannot wait for the challenge, and I know, and I hope, you can’t wait to fight me as well.”
The fight has still not been officially confirmed by the UFC, but would see Sterling looking for his third successful defense of the title after previously beating Petr Yan and TJ Dillashaw while in the midst of an 8-fight winning streak.
As for Cejudo, he’s making a comeback three years after he retired from the sport at a time when he was both the flyweight and bantamweight champion, having gone on a six-fight unbeaten run during which he’d defeated the likes of Demetrious Johnson, TJ Dillashaw, Marlon Moraes and Dominick Cruz.
Sterling vs. Cejudo would be a potential headliner for the UFC 288 show, which is already expected to also feature a lightweight fight between former champion Charles Oliveira and Beneil Dariush.