Former two-division UFC titleholder Henry Cejudo didn’t hold back against bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling

After a three-year layoff, Cejudo will return to face Sterling for the bantamweight title in the main event of UFC 288 on May 6. 

During a recent interview with ESPN, Cejudo (16-2) had a heated exchange with Sterling, who he criticized for his controversial title win at UFC 259. 

In March 2021, Sterling (22-3) defeated former champion Petr Yan by disqualification due to an illegal knee. A year later, he captured another win against Yan by split decision. 

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“He won the [title] via Academy Award. He won the second fight against Yan [against Yan] via… judges guilt,” Cejudo said. “This dude is an easy fight for me and I’m going to stop him no less than three rounds and I promise you that.”

Henry Cejudo vs. Aljamain Sterling Are Two Bantamweight Greats 

Cejudo, who is a former simultaneous bantamweight and flyweight champion, last fought in May 2020 at UFC 249 where he defeated Dominick Cruz by TKO. He announced his retirement after the bout. 

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The 36-year-old re-entered the USADA drug-testing pool in early 2022. His UFC resume includes other wins over Demetrious Johnson, T.J. Dillashaw, Sergio Pettis and Marlon Moreas, to name a select few. 

Sterling, who represents the Serra-Longo Fight Team, hasn’t lost in five years. Since winning the 135-pound title, he has defended his throne twice with wins over former champions Yan and Dillashaw. 

The Long Island, New York native is ranked No. 7 in the UFC’s pound-for-pound fighter list. 

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Once that bell rings and you realize it’s not an easy fight, you’re going to feel so stupid,” Sterling told Cejudo. 

The two 135-ers will settle their beef at UFC 288 that will be held at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.

Marc Ray has lived his entire life in Houston, Texas, where he was born, raised and attended the University of Houston, studying broadcast journalism. As you may imagine, he spends much of his time watching mixed martial arts as part of his daily routine — not only to pump himself up, but also because he deeply enjoys the sport. Ray has worked for Houston Public Media, where he interned in the newsroom and produced community stories. Ray also created sports features in Houston for El Gato Media Network and occasionally produced content for an internship at AARP.