UFC 288: Conor McGregor, other pros react to Aljamain Sterling spoiling the return of Henry Cejudo

UFC 288: Sterling v Cejudo
UFC 288: Sterling v Cejudo / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

See how fellow UFC fighters reacted to Aljamain Sterling narrowly defeating Henry Cejudo to retain the UFC bantamweight title at UFC 288

Aljamain Sterling is now the only man in UFC history to successfully retain the undisputed UFC bantamweight championship three times, as he just manages to defeat former champ Henry Cejudo in the UFC 288 main event.

Sterling came out firing right away, looking to use his reach to his advantage and control the fight from the start. Cejudo, however, was able to catch him and score a takedown in the first round. Sterling, however, had his own success in taking Cejudo down, even getting to his back before the round's end.

Cejudo tried to take control back in the second, but Sterling still held firm control with his striking. Cejudo tried to rush in to start the third round and went for Sterling's neck. Cejudo scored a takedown, but Sterling scored another one of his own. The fourth round had plenty of trading, but Cejudo's takedown of Sterling was followed by Sterling scoring a takedown again.

Cejudo scored a major takedown in the final minute of the final round, but it wasn't enough. While one judge awarded Cejudo the bout, the other two gave it to Sterling, allowing him to retain the title.

UFC 288: Pros react to Aljamain Sterling vs. Henry Cejudo

Sterling entered this fight looking for his third bantamweight title defense. He originally won the title with a disqualification win over Petr Yan at UFC 259 before retaining it in a rematch with Yan at UFC 273 and against T.J. Dillashaw at UFC 280.

Prior to his three-year retirement, Cejudo became flyweight champion with a win over Demetrious Johnson at UFC 227. After retaining the belt against Dillashaw, Cejudo finished Marlon Moraes at UFC 238 to become champ-champ by adding the then-vacant bantamweight title to his mantle.

Cejudo retired following his bantamweight title defense against Dominick Cruz at UFC 249.

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UFC 288: Aljamain Sterling vs. Henry Cejudo takes place on Saturday, May 6, 2023, live from the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. Follow along with FanSided MMA for all your news and highlights.