This space will be your one-stop shop for all UFC 288 results, and highlights, from the card inside the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey on Saturday night.
The MMA world leader returns to pay-per-view and the Tri-State area tonight for a massive card led by a championship bout. In the UFC 288 headliner, bantamweight king — and New York native — Aljamain Sterling will look to defend his title for a third straight time when he welcomes Henry Cejudo back to the Octagon after a three-year retirement from cage fighting.
Also Read: UFC pound for pound rankings – Cejudo attempts return to top 10 at UFC 288
“Triple C” is a former two-division champion who walked away from the sport after a destructive May 2020 win over division great Dominick Cruz. Despite entering the bout with a notable hiatus from competition, the Olympic gold medalist is still a slight favorite and will look to reclaim the belt he never lost inside the Octagon.
In the co-main event, two top-five fighters in our UFC welterweight rankings will go to war with a chance at division king Leon Edwards on the line. The bout between Belal Muhammad and Gilbert Burns is a fantastic clash of styles and a great addition to the card. What makes it all the more fascinating is the fight was booked just a couple of weeks ago and is replacing the scrapped lightweight bout between Charles Oliveira and Beneil Dariush.
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The card from Newark also features the return of Octagon veterans Marina Rodriguez, Jessica Andrade, Drew Dober, and Movsar Evloev. Now, let’s get to the UFC 288 results and some fight-ending highlights from the card.
UFC 288 results and highlights
Claudio Ribiero def. Joseph Holmes by TKO (3:21, Round 2)
Contender Series contract winner Claudio Ribiero made an impression to start off the UFC 288 card by dancing his way to the Octagon. Then he danced all over his opponent Joseph Holmes in their fight.
Despite some early resistance from Holmes, including some nasty leg kicks, the Brazilian striker actually showed off his grappling talents by grounding and pummeling his opponent. Holmes actually put Ribiero in serious danger and almost finished him in the first but he was the one that couldn’t escape in the second. In the second Holmes was knocked down, and hit with a nasty knee to the head when he tried to escape and was finished soon after.
Ikram Aliskerov def. Phil Hawes by KO (2:10, Round 1)
Promotion debutante Ikram Aliskerov did not need long to make a major statement in these UFC 288 results. The man that Khamazat Chimaev considers his toughest opponent to date was a little wild in the early goings of his bout with Phil Hawes. However, he showed he was more than a Dagestani wrestler and put the local fighter to sleep with one single blow on the chin in the opening minutes.
He will be one to watch in his return to the Octagon later this year.
Parker Porter def. Braxton Smith by TKO (2:10, Round 1)
“The Beautiful Monster” looked quite impressive in his UFC debut against Parker Porter. He seemed fast for his size and very powerful. However, Porter showed a huge experience advantage and weathered that early storm.
A big knee rocked the “Monster” and then he got a wrestling lesson. Eventually, he was put in full mount on the mat and pummeled until the referee could watch no more just two minutes into the first round.
Virna Jandiroba def. Marina Rodriguez by unanimous decision (29-28 [2X], 30-27)
After a card that opened up with three straight finishes, Virna Jandiroba brought the streak to a grinding halt with a grinding win over top contender Marina Rodriguez. She knew her best route to victory was on the mat and she employed a dominant grappling attack for all three rounds.
The Brazilian was in control for most of the fight and was able to win fairly easily with little threat of a comeback win from her countrywoman. It was by far Jandiroba’s biggest win yet in the promotion.
Khaos Williams def. Rolando Bedoya by split decision (27-30, 29-28, 29-28)
Khaos Williams and UFC newcomer Rolando Bedoya went toe-to-toe over three hard-fought rounds at UFC 288. Despite getting a difficult test in his first bout inside the fabled Octagon, the Peruvian showed serious heart and quite a chin in being able to take some of William’s best shots and give many back.
In the end, the American was able to do what was necessary and use his experience advantage at the highest levels of the sport to score a big bounce-back win after a year away and a frustrating split-decision loss to Randy Brown last year.
Kennedy Nzechukwu def. Devin Clark by submission (2:28, Round 2)
Twenty-one-fight veteran Devin Clark had a major opportunity in front of him on Saturday when he was matched up with rising star Kennedy Nzechukwu. And he gave the young talent a bit of a scare early and seemed to hurt the Fortis MMA fighter in the opening round.
However, “The African Savage” weathered that early storm from his opponent and eventually started to work over Clark in the final minutes of the first. In the second he continued that dominance and eventually was able to put his foe to sleep by submission two minutes into the second.
Matt Frevola def. Drew Dober by TKO (4:08, Round 1)
Drew Dober versus Matt Frevola always had the potential to win the fight of the night and it delivered by being a very entertaining scrap for as long as it lasted, and that wasn’t very long. Dober came into the bout as the fighter people viewed as the power threat but it was the New York native who brought the thunder.
From the start of the fight, he was aggressive and pushed a hard pace until the very end when he caught his opponent right on the chin and dropped him four minutes into the first. He pounced and scored the biggest win of his career by TKO in the UFC 288 results.
Charles Jourdain def. Kron Gracie by unanimous decision (30-27 [3X])
UFC 288 was a very entertaining card and had five finishes heading into Kron Gracie versus Charles Jourdain. The bout was a clash of eras as the Gracie family member used a style very much from decades past against a modern fighter in Jourdain. The results delivered a mostly uneventful fight.
Jourdain looked to avoid the ground game and picked his foe apart on the feet while Gracie’s best offense was pulling guard and hoping for a mistake from his foe. That never happened and “Air” won easily by unanimous decision.
Movsar Evloev def. Diego Lopes by unanimous decision (29-28 [2X], 30-27)
UFC fight timer Diego Lopes looked outstanding on a few days’ notice in the first round. He seemed to rock the Russian and put him in several dangerous spots on the mat, including a near armbar. However, that did not last passed the first round.
In the second round, Movsar Evloev was able to take in the necessary information and figure out the Brazilian for the final two rounds. Dominating with his grappling and securing a 17th straight win overall. It wasn’t easy and Lopes impressed at times, but Evloev remained unbeaten with his UFC 288 results.
Xiaonan Yan def. Jessica Andrade by KO (2:20, Round 1)
Xiaonan Yan entered her fight with Jessica Andrade as the favorite and she proved exactly why fairly quickly at UFC 288. After a minute or so of feeling each other out, the Brazilian attempted her patented hook stampede forward. But the Chinese star evaded the bitz and scored a destructive KO win off a nasty counter shot.
Belal Muhammad def. Gilbert Burns by unanimous decision (50-45, 49-46 [2X])
On paper, Belal Muhammad versus Gilbert Burns had the potential to be a barnburner. However, it seems that the bout’s short-notice booking and what was on the line for the winner — a title shot — might have gotten the better of both of them.
Over five hard-fought rounds, both seemed to play it very respectfully and did not take many risks. It often led to staring contests that got boos from the fans in the Prudential Center — and loudly at the end. The big standout from the bout was Muhammad’s jab which did some solid damage. Otherwise, it was one of the most lackluster five-round bouts of the year and wins for new No. 1 contender Muhammad.
Aljamain Sterling def. Henry Cejudo by split decision
Aljamain Sterling versus Henry Cejudo was an elite-level chess match for the entirety of their five-round bout in the main event of UFC 288. While “Triple C” was able to manage much of the champion’s wrestling, and land a couple of takedowns of his own, Sterling made the former two-division champion earn anything he got on the feet and had moments of his own.
It was a back-and-forth affair and every single round was close and could have gone either way. That is why the bout resulted in a split decision. The champion now moves on to a planned bout with Sean O’Malley for his next title defense. Cejudo has suggested a move to featherweight could be in his future.