Aljamain Sterling was taken to the limit by Henry Cejudo and the official scorecards reflected that.
In the main event of UFC 288 on Saturday in Newark, N.J., Sterling won a split decision over the returning Cejudo by the narrowest margin, with two judges scoring the fight in his favor 48-47 and the other scoring it 48-47 for Cejudo.
See the official scorecard below.
#UFC288 Official Scorecard: Aljamain Sterling (@funkmasterMMA) vs Henry Cejudo— UFC News (@UFCNews) May 7, 2023
All Tonight’s Scorecards➡️: https://t.co/NwuseKRMCj pic.twitter.com/qcrfi8JVlv
All three judges agreed that Sterling won the first and fourth rounds and that Cejudo won the third. Rounds 2 and 5 were up for grabs and those disputed frames were enough to tilt the cards to Sterling’s side.
At the sound of the final bell, any score seemed like it would be possible with neither man able to assert themselves for long periods in either the striking or the grappling phases of the competitions. Sterling did appear to be getting the better of the standup exchanges, but Cejudo didn’t look out of place at all on the feet despite this being his first fight since 2020.
Sterling’s third straight successful title defense gives him the record for the best streak of any bantamweight champion in UFC history. Two of those defenses have come by way of split decision.
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