Oft-maligned bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling gave one of his most impressive performances, Saturday, defeating two-division champion Henry Cejudo via split decision in the main event of UFC 288 from Newark, N.J.
Returning after a three-year retirement, the former flyweight and bantamweight champion, Cejudo, came in as a slight favorite but Sterling started fast with lots of movement and strikes. Though Cejudo secured a takedown off a body lock, Sterling worked his way back to his feet. He then secured a double underhook of his own against the fence and managed to take the former Olympic gold medal wrestler down ending the first round on Cejudo’s back.
Sterling was a bit more active through the second but Cejudo used his wrestling in the third muscling Sterling down into front headlock positions and finishing the round with a nice trip off a body lock. But Sterling reasserted control in the fourth. When Cejudo again managed to get him down to all fours in a front headlock, Sterling fought his way to the challenger’s legs. Cejudo went into a near full split against the fence to stop the champion from completing the reversal but Sterling finished the takedown, again ending the round on top.
The champion coasted a bit in the final round but still took the split decision, perhaps finally silencing the last of his doubters.
Mma, Ufc, Mixed martial arts
Black Belt Magazine
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