Ultimate Fighting Championship 288 is due to take place on the 6th of May at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. We must go back to August 2019 for the previous UFC event to take place in New Jersey and the headline fight of the night at UFC 288 will be between Aljamain Sterling and Henry Cejudo. There are plenty of other fights to enjoy on the night and we look ahead to the event below in our UFC 288 preview.

Aljamain Sterling vs Henry Cejudo

As highlighted above, the fight between Aljamain Sterling and Henry Cejudo will be the main event at UFC 288. This contest is for the UFC Bantamweight Championship and Sterling is the current champion while Cejudo is a former UFC Flyweight and Bantamweight Champion. Sterling comes into this fight having successfully defended his title against former UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw at UFC 280. It is worth noting Dillashaw was not 100% for much of the fight having sustained an injury and Sterling will be keen to show what he can do against a fully fit opponent. Sterling has made two defenses of his title following a controversial win over Petr Yan via disqualification to land the UFC Bantamweight Championship. There are many fans who are still on the fence when it comes to Sterling and feel Cejudo could be the man to take him down.

Cejudo comes into the fight on the back of a win against Dominick Cruz at UFC 249 in which he successfully defended the UFC Bantamweight Championship. Cejudo vacated the title just days later having announced his retirement from the sport. So, Cejudo has not fought since May 2020 and it will be interesting to see how the American copes following a lengthy layoff. There is no doubting the quality of Cejudo, who is arguably one of the best fighters of all time in the division and he has always been difficult to stop. However, at the age of 36, his best years in the octagon could be behind him and having been away from the sport for some time, this fight is a big ask. Therefore, Sterling must start as the favorite to win but the UFC mobile sportsbooks have this one down as being an extremely close contest, with little between the two men in the betting odds.

Belal Muhammad vs Gilbert Burns

Moving to the undercard and we have some fantastic fights to look forward to at UFC 288, including the meeting between Belal Muhammad vs Gilbert Burns. Muhammed and Burns are considered two of the leading welterweights in the world right now and this could easily have been billed as the main event. The winner of the contest will go on to compete for the welterweight title and Muhammad will be hoping to make the most of his excellent striking skills. However, Burns is coming into this fight on the back of a win just one month ago. Other than the no contest against Leon Edwards in 2021, Muhammad has won eight fights in a row and could be the man to come out on top.

Jessica Andrade vs Yan Xionan

Another of the thrilling fights to enjoy at UFC 288 is the women’s strawweight clash between Jessica Andrade and Yan Xionan. Andrade lost to Erin Blanchfield in her most recent outing and will be aiming to bounce back in style with a victory in this fight. However, Xionan is the most upwardly mobile of the two fighters and she enters this contest having beat Mackenzie Dern in her previous fight. There is no doubt Xionan has current champion Zhang Weili in her sights and a win in this fight will see her move closer to a date with the champion. 

Movsar Evloev vs Bryce Mitchell

Movsar Evloev comes into this featherweight clash protecting an undefeated record having beat Dan Ige in his most recent contest at UFC Fight Night in June 2022. His opponent, Bryce Mitchell, will have the backing of the crowd but is coming into the fight having suffered the first loss of his professional career against Ilia Topuria at UFC 282. Looking at their physical attributes, there is not much to separate the two men and this fight could come down to a decision.

Some of the other fights to look forward to at UFC 288 include Kron Gracie vs Charles Jourdain, Drew Dober vs. Matt Frevola, Kennedy Nzechukwu vs. Devin Clark, Marina Rodriguez vs. Virna Jandiroba, and Khaos Williams vs. Rolando Bedoya.