Former two-division champion Henry Cejudo, returning to the UFC soon after a three-12 months absence, missing by break up determination to Sterling.
Aljamain Sterling has defeated Henry Cejudo by break up decision in the most important celebration of UFC 288 in Newark, New Jersey, to keep his bantamweight title and probably deliver the previous Greatest Combating Championship two-division champion back again into retirement.
Sterling took the cards 48-47, 47-48, 48-47 in the carefully contested bout on Saturday night.
Cejudo, returning to the octagon right after a three-calendar year absence, had been the betting favourite coming into the fight.
“I was not certain which way the decision was gonna go,” Sterling claimed. “I desire I could have completed a small little bit greater but Henry’s a [expletive] pet, he’s a legend and it is no quick activity to run by means of him like I did everyone else.”
He improved to 23-3 and Cejudo fell to 16-2.
Sterling, 33, landed a lot more full strikes, 174-110 over Cejudo, together with a 110-63 advantage in signature strikes.
Sterling received the 135-pound title by way of disqualification due to an unlawful strike in a bout he was handily dropping to Petr Yan in 2021. He solidified his assert to the crown by profitable a rematch by means of split decision a 12 months later on.
Bantamweight challenger Sean O’Malley stepped inside the cage immediately after Sterling’s victory on Saturday, stripped off his jacket and stood nose-to-nose with him as the two fighters launched into profanity-laced tirades from just about every other and finally necessary to be divided.
They might get their championship match later this summertime. UFC President Dana White wished Sterling-O’Malley to combat in August in Boston – and not late evening in New Jersey.
Cejudo, 36, is the only individual to gain an Olympic gold medal and a UFC title. He after held the bantamweight and flyweight titles – getting one of just four UFC fighters to at the same time hold belts in two divisions. But he abruptly retired at his peak in 2020, vacating both equally crowns.
Cejudo explained he was a “little confused” about his long run plans and would return dwelling to his family members – his wife is expecting the couple’s 2nd child – and imagine really hard about his struggle potential. He was wildly cheered by all five rounds by 17,559 supporters that paid to observe Cejudo consider to transform back again the clock.
“Who is aware of, this may well be the previous time in the octagon,” he stated.
Sterling, a Prolonged Island, New York native, correctly defended the bantamweight championship for a file 3rd time.
Before in the night, Belal Muhammad (23-3, 1 NC) landed enough rigid kicks to Gilbert Burns’s upper body to get paid a unanimous determination victory in the 170-pound five-round fight.
Muhammad and Burns exchanged a number of kicks in the 3rd and the crowd allow the fighters have it at the finish of yet another spherical on the card that suffered from a deficiency of sustained motion. Burns appeared to harm his remaining shoulder on a unsuccessful takedown endeavor and could not muster substantially offence, a single reason for a methodical speed.
Muhammad was booed when he was introduced as the 50-45, 49-46, 49-46 winner and then informed the group, “New Jersey, you suck.”
The gain stamped Muhammad – who took the struggle on just more than two weeks’ recognize and extended his winning streak to five and his unbeaten streak to 10 straight fights – as a leading contender for a title shot from Leon Edwards.
Movsar Evloev defeated Diego Lopes by unanimous final decision in a struggle Lopes acknowledged on 5-day detect after an personal injury pressured Bryce Mitchell to drop out. Yan Xiaonan clobbered previous UFC strawweight champion Jéssica Andrade with a large appropriate and pounded absent at her fallen foe for a TKO victory at 2:20 of the first round.
Yan’s victory could established her up for a 115-pound championship match versus fellow Chinese fighter Zhang Weili.