Aljamain Sterling landed sufficient stiff knees and elbows in a split-decision victory in opposition to a battered Henry Cejudo which will push the previous UFC two-division champion again into retirement.
Moments after profitable his ninth straight bout and surviving his newest 135-pound championship title defence in the primary occasion of UFC 288 in Newark on Saturday, Sterling’s battle night time was solely heating up.
Bantamweight challenger Sean O’Malley stepped contained in the cage, stripped off his jacket and stood nose-to-nose with Sterling (23-3) as the 2 fighters launched into profanity-laced tirades in opposition to one another and ultimately wanted to be separated.
They may have their championship match later this summer season. UFC President Dana White needed Sterling and O’Malley to battle in August in Boston.
Cejudo’s comeback after a three-year retirement additionally may need been a foul concept.
The one individual to win an Olympic gold medal and a UFC title, Cejudo held the bantamweight crown when he abruptly retired in Might 2020 after efficiently defending the championship in opposition to Dominick Cruz.
Cejudo stated he was a “little confused” about his future plans and would return dwelling to his household — his spouse is anticipating the couple’s second baby — and suppose onerous about his battle future. He was wildly cheered by means of all 5 rounds by 17,559 followers that paid to look at Cejudo attempt to flip again the clock.
“Who is aware of, this can be the final time within the octagon,” he stated.
The 33-year-old Sterling received 48-47, 48-47 on two scorecards and Cejudo received 48-47 on the third.
Sterling, a Lengthy Island, New York native, efficiently defended the bantamweight championship for a document third time.
Belal Muhammad (23-3, 1 NC) landed sufficient stiff kicks to Gilbert Burns’ higher physique to earn a unanimous determination victory within the 170-pound five-round battle that suffered from a deficiency of sustained motion.
Muhammad was booed when introduced because the 50-45, 49-46, 49-46 winner after which instructed the group, “New Jersey, you suck.”
On the primary battle on the primary card, Charles Jourdain defeated Kron Graice by unanimous determination.
Movsar Evloev defeated Diego Lopes by unanimous determination in a battle Lopes accepted on five-days discover after an harm pressured Bryce Mitchell to drop out.
Yan Xiaonan clobbered former UFC strawweight champion Jessica Andrade with an enormous proper and pounded away at her fallen foe for a TKO victory at 2:20 of the primary spherical.
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