Henry Cejudo has the solution to bolster UFC 288.
The UFC’s next pay-per-view event on May 6 took a hit this past weekend when it was announced that the co-main event between top lightweight contenders Charles Oliveira and Beneil Dariush was off. Oliveira sustained an injury and the matchup is now being targeted for UFC 289 on June 10 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, according to Dariush.
Meanwhile, UFC President Dana White shared that the promotion wants to replace it with another big fight and is working on doing so. As one half of the card’s main event, the former dual-division champion Cejudo feels he knows the perfect play.
“You guys want to have a great co-main event on a great card ... why not Justin Gaethje?” Cejudo said on his YouTube channel. “I guarantee you Justin Gaethje will step in. Do him vs. Dariush, winner gets a title shot. There’s something that needs to be done and I do believe people need to do something to really step up if they really want to be that next person because if not, a whole damn year goes by and then you’re thinking about who they’re gonna fight next.
“As a competitor, if I was in that position I’d be the first person to raise my hand. ‘Hey, I’m here to step up.’”
The timing for a potential 155-pound title shot lines up well with Cejudo’s suggestion. It’s expected that lightweight titleholder Islam Makhachev will return for his second defense in October for the promotion's return to Abu Dhabi. Until then, the No. 1 contender spot needs to be sorted.
Dariush already has a strong case as is with an eight-fight winning streak, and was supposed to clash with Makhachev in February of last year. At the same time, the Oliveira fight has been attempted before as well. The first time was to take place in October 2020 until Oliveira withdrew from injury.
“Oliveira may not even be ready for June. If he wasn’t ready for May, what makes you think he’s gonna be ready for June?” Cejudo said. “Whatever injury it may be, you gotta take those chances, dude.”
Cejudo looks to reclaim the bantamweight title at UFC 288 when he challenges champion Aljamain Sterling. Last seen defeating the division’s greatest fighter of all time Dominick Cruz in May 2020 via second-round TKO, Cejudo, 36, remains confident as ever and believes he’ll be even better after ending his layoff.
UFC 288’s main event competitors have already bantered back-and-forth plenty and are an intriguing stylistic matchup. Ultimately, fans and even the boss himself want just a little more meat on the New Jersey event’s bone. It doesn’t get much better than arguably MMA’s most exciting fighter, “The Highlight.”
“Whether it’s Belal Muhammad or Gilbert Burns or damn Colby Covington — Covington’s already gonna get that shot — you do something. You make something exciting to really make the fight fans excited for UFC 288,” Cejudo said. “I would prefer Gaethje. He’s just fought not too long ago but he didn’t take that much damage from [Rafael Fiziev]. Then again, the way he trains, he trains so damn hard that I’m not sure if he’s ready. But if I had to pick somebody to really step in, it would be Justin Gaethje and what he’s shown and what he’s proven.”
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SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
May 6 ppv event is in trouble. Jan blachowicz vs Costa could be the salvation. I go up 205 on all juice . Let me know @ufc— Paulo Costa ( Borrachinha ) (@BorrachinhaMMA) April 19, 2023
Fat Paulo is ready— Paulo Costa ( Borrachinha ) (@BorrachinhaMMA) April 19, 2023
There is not only rumors guyZ. Hunter Campbell has called, I think both sides has agreed . Let’s set the detail$.— Paulo Costa ( Borrachinha ) (@BorrachinhaMMA) April 19, 2023
There is eventual moving up , I could make 185 without issues. Gourmet chenchen only can fight in October in Dubai so it’s fine. pic.twitter.com/DvzE5OworP
I don’t like to say somebody is ducking me or this kind stuffs , maybe he is injured or fatty than me, I really dont know,he should has his reasons . I just know FAT PAULO IS READY to GO IN may 6. It’s a perfect match, don’t need to cut to much weight.— Paulo Costa ( Borrachinha ) (@BorrachinhaMMA) April 19, 2023
I’m in all day pic.twitter.com/wLFhElyETv
https://t.co/O92s6C9ElE pic.twitter.com/KixcgeQxnO— Beyond Kickboxing (@Beyond_Kick) April 19, 2023
Ready for his return!!@HenryCejudo putting in work ahead of #UFC288 on May 6th pic.twitter.com/xOLZmIQF6G— UFC (@ufc) April 19, 2023
I call BS... but still fun.
Sent him flying ✈️ pic.twitter.com/hwVTG3XbWo— Red Corner MMA (@RedCorner_MMA) April 19, 2023
I couldn’t even imagine it. https://t.co/lJsA5335da— Chael Sonnen (@ChaelSonnen) April 18, 2023
These work trips are hard graft, I’m telling ya pic.twitter.com/rUT6UsL4IA— michael (@bisping) April 19, 2023
Great boxing rounds last night! I’m going to piece these guy up before I strangle him in front of my home crowd https://t.co/bKYJdYm9Mg— Aljamain Sterling (@funkmasterMMA) April 19, 2023
#OnThisDay in 2014: Khabib Nurmagomedov was on an incredible 22 fight win streak after beating Rafael dos Anjos!— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) April 19, 2023
Watch in full on @UFCFightPass now! pic.twitter.com/0CsNeOK5Y9
Una foto perrona pic.twitter.com/Bk5SwqtmvV— Yazmin Jauregui (@Jaureguiyaz) April 19, 2023
Still waiting ☎️ pic.twitter.com/CSp2qiK6o6— GILBERT BURNS DURINHO (@GilbertDurinho) April 19, 2023
Not at all! Just gotta learn the RNC https://t.co/DmlahKoaUW— The Diamond (@DustinPoirier) April 19, 2023
April 19, 2023
@AnissaMeksen’s fight and @jimmyvienot's fight, originally scheduled for #ARES15, have both been rebooked for September at #ARES17.— ARES Fighting Championship (@ares_fighting) April 19, 2023
The cancellation is due to an ongoing lawsuit with their former employer.
We apologise to all ARES fans. pic.twitter.com/T29FUSi60o
What is even going on now?
Fat Paulo is hungry @SecretJuicearmy pic.twitter.com/gbvVgpQdxQ— Paulo Costa ( Borrachinha ) (@BorrachinhaMMA) April 19, 2023
Friendships that last a lifetime ! Thanks for coming thru @dc_mma— Kyle Crutchmer (@KyleCrutchmer) April 19, 2023
@fortis_mma @CowboyWrestling pic.twitter.com/6F16dBJH3p
Taking the spotlight this Saturday— UFC (@ufc) April 19, 2023
[ #UFCVegas71 | Saturday | Main Card 7pmET on ESPN+ ] pic.twitter.com/bVyPs1l9wW
Has any competing fighters bet their purse against each other and then followed thru? We should stop doing this. Fighting is tough. It can go anyway. Luck plays a hell of a part. Don’t be saying you are betting your fight purse against each other. Because it never happens. And…— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) April 19, 2023
I make substantially more than everyone on the roster combined so it’s not feasible. I could bet a portion however. But it’s ridiculous, and no. This game, and the longer you are in it, gets tougher and tougher. I’m keeping my hard earned money for my loved ones ❤️ https://t.co/qayxxPFlRs— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) April 19, 2023
This is an awful moment in wrestling. Should he be barred from participating in all sports? pic.twitter.com/vNztUdgS5I— FITE (@FiteTV) April 19, 2023
Yes, this is my world.. #ufc #APEX #LasVegas #sport #mma pic.twitter.com/haYTbbuK9W— Sergei Pavlovich (@SPavlovich13) April 20, 2023
#Fightweek with the “karate kid” Kyoji Horiguchi… @kyoji1012 @centuryma #Bellator295 #CenturyMartialArts #AmericanTopTeam pic.twitter.com/nEtoY6xTdU— Mike Thomas Brown (@mikebrownmma) April 20, 2023
April 19, 2023
♂️ I’m fighting for gold and 6 figures next.. not for 38k. Maybe once you stop struggling with unranked opponents, you can add this to your wish list, considering all that lay and praying you do every fight— Brandon (@brandonroyval) April 20, 2023
No quit acting like you don’t see Hadley’s tweets https://t.co/YtmrHxDcuc
Khabib is a fat bitch with tits now, lad.— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) April 19, 2023
Masakatsu Funaki (40-13-1) vs. Shinya Aoki (47-11); Majestic 2023, May 4
Chris Curtis (30-10) vs. Nassourdine Imavov (12-4); UFC 289, June 10
Muslim Salikhov (19-3) vs. Nicolas Dalby (21-4-1, 2 NC); UFC Fight Night, June 17
I’m still in the camp that UFC 288 isn’t as bad as it's been made out to be after losing Oliveira vs. Dariush. But getting one of these types of fights added? Of course! Why the hell not? We all know Gaethje, unfortunately, won’t be filling in though. Especially not against Dariush who he’s openly said he doesn’t want to fight and I’d imagine even less so in this situation.
Thanks for reading!
Which fight would you prefer to see added to UFC 288?
This poll is closed
Justin Gaethje vs. Beneil Dariush
Belal Muhammad vs. Gilbert Burns
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