UFC 288: Sterling vs. Cejudo
UFC 288: Sterling vs. Cejudo is an upcoming mixed martial arts event produced by the Ultimate Fighting Championship that will take place on May 6, 2023, at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.
The event will mark the promotion’s ninth visit to Newark and first since UFC on ESPN: Covington vs. Lawler in August 2019.
A UFC Bantamweight Championship bout between current champion Aljamain Sterling and former UFC Flyweight and Bantamweight Champion Henry Cejudo (also 2008 Olympic gold medalist in freestyle wrestling) is expected to headline the event.
Zhalgas Zhumagulov and Nate Maness were expected to meet in a flyweight bout at the event. However, Maness pulled out in early April due to injury and was replaced by Rafael Estevam, who was originally scheduled to fight two weeks earlier at UFC Fight Night: Pavlovich vs. Blaydes before an injury also took his opponent.
A featherweight bout between Bryce Mitchell and Jonathan Pearce was scheduled for the event. However, Pearce was forced to withdraw from the event due to injury. He was replaced by Movsar Evloev. Mitchell and Evloev were previously scheduled to headline UFC Fight Night: Rodriguez vs. Lemos in November 2022, but Evloev withdrew due to injury.
A lightweight bout between former UFC Lightweight Champion Charles Oliveira and Beneil Dariush was expected to take place as the co-main event. However, Oliveira withdrew due to an undisclosed injury and the bout will be rescheduled for a later date.