Former two-weight world champion Henry Cejudo makes his highly-anticipated return to the octagon against bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling at UFC 288.
The Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey will host the card on 6th May as Sterling makes the third defence of his title.
|Where||Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey, USA|
|When||From 01:00, Sunday 7th May 2023|
|How to watch||BT Sport|
Sterling won the belt via disqualification after Petr Yan, who was the defending champion, landed an illegal knee in round four of their bout at UFC 259 in March 2021.
After a year outside the octagon due to lingering neck issues from surgery, Sterling returned to successfully defend in a rematch with Yan, winning by split decision at UFC 273.
His second defence came in October 2022 against former two-time champion TJ Dillashaw, who was returning after a 15-month absence, and Sterling sealed a TKO win in round two.
Funk Master has won eight in a row, but his next opponent, Cejudo, is arguably his toughest.
Cejudo is the only person to have an Olympic gold medal and a UFC title and he became just the fourth fighter in the company to hold belts in two divisions simultaneously in 2019.
The 36-year-old beat Marlon Moraes via TKO at UFC 238 to add the vacant bantamweight title to his flyweight strap.
He went on to defend his bantamweight gold against Dominick Cruz at UFC 249 in May 2020, but hasn't competed since.
UFC 288 will mark his first appearance in three years and, like Jon Jones, who returned from a three-year hiatus to win the heavyweight belt in March, Cejudo is looking to come back with a bang.
The co-main event could serve as a title eliminator when former lightweight champion Charles Oliveira takes on Beneil Dariush.
Oliveira, ranked #1, lost his belt to Islam Makhachev, who has since defended successfully against Alexander Volkanovski, at UFC 280.
The Brazilian was riding an 11-fight win streak prior to that defeat and could earn a shot at Makhachev if he returns with a victory.
Dariush is ranked #4 after winning eight in a row and, like Oliveira, would have a strong claim to face Makhachev if he adds another victory to his tally.
UFC 288 is scheduled to take place on Sunday 7th May 2023.
The preliminary card gets underway at 01:00 and the main card is due to begin at 03:00, with Sterling and Cejudo expected to make their octagon walks at around 05:30.
Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey will host UFC 288. The multi-purpose indoor arena opened in 2007 and is the home of NHL franchise the New Jersey Devils.
The arena has a maximum capacity between 16,000 and 19,500 depending on the type of event taking place.
UFC 287 Fight Card: When, UK Time and how to watch live
UFC 286 Fight Card: When, UK Time and how to watch live
Yes. BT Sport will broadcast UFC 288.
Yes. Sterling is making the third defence of his bantamweight title against former champion Cejudo.
25 fights, 22 wins (3 KOs), 3 defeats.
18 fights, 16 wins (8 KOs), 2 defeats.
Charles Oliveira v Beneil Dariush
Bryce Mitchell v Jonathan Pearce
Kron Gracie v Charles Jourdain
Marina Rodriguez v Virna Jandiroba
Devin Clark v Kennedy Nzechukwu
Andre Petroski v Armen Petrosyan
Nate Maness v Zhalgas Zhumagulov
Khaos Williams v Rolando Bedoya
Johnny Munoz Jr. v Daniel Santos