The UFC is back yet again, opening up the month of May UFC schedule with a PPV event at UFC 288. New Jersey is the setting for a night full of great fights from top to bottom on this card. The bantamweight world title is set to headline this event, with Aljamain Sterling looking to defend his title again, this time over the former double champ Henry Cejudo. Continue reading to discover our Sterling vs Cejudo Betting Analysis.

Will Cejudo still be able to fight at his championship level after 3 years away from competing? Or will Sterling be too big and too much for “Triple-C?” 

  • Aljamain Sterling is 5-0 in his last five UFC bouts.
  • Henry Cejudo is also 5-0 in his last five appearances.   
  • Sterling opened as the betting favorite over the double-champ, but is now the slight underdog. 
  • Cejudo opened as the underdog, probably due to his inactivity, but has now taken over as the slight favorite during fight week.
  • 8 of 17 UFC fights for Sterling have ended inside the distance. 
  • 5 out of 12 UFC fights have been finished inside the distance for Cejudo.

How To Bet on Sterling vs Cejudo

Wow, we have a night full of razor-close fights at UFC 288. The headliner is the most important, with the self-proclaimed combat sports GOAT making his return to the UFC after retiring 3 years ago. 

Cejudo hasn’t competed since sports betting has become mainstream, so make sure you take the time to go back and look at the past betting lines for Cejudo, along with watching his old fights on Youtube. Watching those fights will give you a good idea of what kind of style Cejudo brings to the octagon.

This fight is almost virtually a pick ‘em, so you can go with either fighter’s moneyline and have lots of value in a bet. It wouldn’t even be worth trying to get too lucky and putting any serious money on a prop bet for this one –this is one of the most unpredictable fights of 2023.

All the question marks for this bout comes from Cejudo and what version we will see of the Olympic Gold Medalist. After starting a family and not competing for years, it is going to be tough to fight at a championship level–no matter how confident he seems.

Sterling vs Cejudo Betting Picks

After taking a lot of time and studying film, betting lines, and even the social medias of both fighters, the final betting pick is still almost impossible to arrive at. 

The urge to bet on Cejudo is very high. If you started betting on the UFC about 5-6 years ago, you know that it is never smart to bet against Triple-C. Outside of his cringey behavior, he is undoubtedly one of the best combat sports athletes of all time. The guy knows how to win.

Sterling is the bigger and stronger fighter, but the fight IQ and confidence of Cejudo alone deserve very strong consideration for a pick in his favor. You really can’t go wrong with either man coming out on top.

The final betting pick will be in Sterling’s favor. He is going to be too awkward on the feet and will be able to get to Cejudo’s back in at least two of the 5 rounds. There will be some rust to shake off for Cejudo in both the striking and wrestling exchanges. 

There could even be a situation where Sterling jumps on the back of Cejudo by just being more aggressive than Cejudo was ready for –much like Sterling did to Sandhagen in their fight. Don’t be surprised if Sterling wins via rear naked choke.

We will be able to see how these two match up fairly quickly, most likely into the first round. There will be a big striking exchange or a level change by Sterling early on that will tell the story of this fight. If Cejudo lets Sterling get his hands on him early, while they still haven’t gotten to be all sweaty and bloody, it might be a quick night for the double-champ.

Top Sportsbooks Odds 

BetOnline: Sterling -103

Bovada: Sterling -105

BetUS: Sterling -110

DraftKings: Sterling -105

Betway: Sterling -105

FanDuel: Sterling -113

MyBookie: Sterling -116

Bonus! Other Fights Worth Placing a Bet On

UFC 288 co-main event: Belal Muhammed (+110) vs Gilbert Burns (-130)

  • This is one of the biggest non-title fights in recent UFC welterweight history. Gilbert Burns is making another appearance, not even a month after he retired Jorge Masvidal in Miami. Belal is going to be working uphill while fighting right after Ramadan, but he looks ready to earn his first title shot with a win over Burns.

Main card for UFC 288: Movsar Evloev (-265) vs Bryce Mitchell (+225)

  • This is a great scrap in the featherweight division. Both guys are young and upcoming top-10 fighters, looking for a big win to earn another big fight with title implications in the stacked division. It is going to be tough for Mitchell to handle the pressure and power of Evloev, but he has world-class grappling that he will lean on. 

UFC 288 feature prelim: Drew Dober (-195) vs Matt Frevola (+170)

  • This fight deserves a main card slot 9 times out of 10, but the fans will get to watch this one for free. Matt Frevola has proved that he belongs in the UFC and has tallied some huge underdog victories already, so don’t be surprised if he shocks the world with a win over the red-hot Drew Dober. But Dober has so much momentum and confidence, it will be hard to get past him.

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