20.3 C
New York
Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Buy now


Sterling beats Cejudo to defend UFC bantamweight title | Sports News

Former two-division champion Henry Cejudo returned to the UFC after a three-year absence, but lost to Sterling by split decision.

Aljamain Sterling defeated Henry Cejudo by split decision in the main event of UFC 288 in Newark, New Jersey to retain his bantamweight title and potentially retire the former UFC two-division champion.

Sterling won the close game 48-47, 47-48, 48-47 on Saturday night.

Cejudo, who returns to the Octagon after a three-year absence, has been a popular bettor for this game.

“I’m not sure where the decision is going,” Sterling said. “I wish I could have done a little better, but Henry is [expletive] Dog, he’s a legend, and it’s not an easy feat to run through him like I’ve done with everyone else. “

He improved to 23-3 and Cejudo fell to 16-2.

Sterling, 33, beat Cejudo 174-110 for more batting totals, including a signature 110-63 batting advantage.

Sterling won the 135-pound title after being disqualified for an illegal strike during a bout in 2021. A year later, he cemented his claim to the crown by winning the rematch by split decision.

After Sterling’s win on Saturday, bantamweight challenger Sean O’Malley walked into the cage, took off his jacket and stood face to face with him as the two boxers began to abuse each other and eventually needed to separate.

They could have a title game later this summer. UFC president Dana White wants Sterling-O’Malley to fight in Boston in August — not late at night in New Jersey.

Henry Cejudo reacts after losing to Aljaman Sterling
Cejudo’s reaction to Sterling’s loss [Frank Franklin II/AP Photo]

Cejudo, 36, is the only person to have won an Olympic gold medal and a UFC title. He once held the bantamweight and flyweight titles — becoming one of only four UFC fighters to hold belts in both divisions. But he retired suddenly at his peak in 2020, leaving two championships vacant.

Cejudo said he was “a bit confused” about his plans for the future, returning to his family — his wife is pregnant with the couple’s second child — and thinking hard about his future fights. The 17,559 fans who paid to watch Cejudo try to turn back time cheered him wildly throughout all five rounds.

“Who knows, this could be the last for the Octagon,” he said.

Sterling of Long Island, New York successfully defended his bantamweight title for the third time.

Earlier in the evening, Belal Muhammad (23-3, 1 NC) kicked Gilbert Burns’ upper body hard enough to beat the 170-pound Winning by unanimous decision in five rounds.

Muhammad and Burns kicked a few kicks in the third, and the crowd let the Warriors kick the ball to the card at the end of another round for a sustained lack of action. Burns appeared to injure his left shoulder on a failed knockdown attempt and was unable to attract much offense, a reason for the methodical pace.

Muhammad was booed when he was declared the winner 50-45, 49-46, 49-46, before telling the crowd, “New Jersey, you suck.”

The win left its mark on Mohamed – who entered with just over two weeks’ notice and extended his winning streak to five games and his unbeaten streak to 10 games — to become the top contender for the title against Leon Edwards.

Movsar Evloev defeated Diego Lopes by unanimous decision in a fight that Lopes received five days’ notice after an injury forced Bryce Mitchell to retire. Yan Xiaonan knocked out former UFC strawweight champion Jessica Andrade with a big right and knocked out her fallen opponent at 2:20 of the first round to win by TKO.

Yan’s victory could lead her to a 115-pound title fight with Chinese boxer Zhang Weili.

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Stay Connected

- Advertisement -spot_img

Latest Articles