UFC 288: Cejudo vs. Sterling Best Prop Bets
UFC 288: CEJUDO VS. STERLING BEST PROP BETS – The UFC will be at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, as Henry Cejudo returns to the octagon. He is returning as the challenger to attempt and earn his belt back from current champion Aljamain Sterling. The card is full of talent and potential contenders. The early prelims will begin at 6 p.m. EDT, the prelims at 8 p.m. EDT, and the pay-per-view main card will start at 10 p.m. EDT.
Aljamain secured the belt via disqualification in his first fight with Petr Yan and defended it in the rematch. He then defended it against T.J. Dillashaw, winning via knockout in October. He is 22-3 professionally and is on an eight-fight winning streak.
Henry Cejudo last fought in May 2020 when he defended his bantamweight title against Dominick Cruz. He then retired and vacated the belt the following week. He has decided to return to the octagon at 36 with lofty goals of winning the bantamweight title and facing Alexander Volkanovksi for the featherweight title.
Cejudo to Win by KO/TKO +350
The long layoff of Cejudo is the primary reason for the odds being so close. He has not fought for three years but left as a winner at the sport’s highest level. His opponent, Aljamain Sterling, will have a three-inch height and seven-inch reach advantage over him, but Cejudo will have the advantage in wrestling.
Cejudo is a former Olympic gold medalist freestyle wrestler, winning at the 2008 Beijing Games at just 21 years old. Cejudo always competes at the highest level and should not be deterred by the long layoff.
Sterling’s Ground Game
In terms of style, Sterling likes to control the fight on the ground, specifically on his opponent’s back. He is dominant in that position and can secure a body triangle quickly.
Cejudo knows this and may have the highest fight IQ in the UFC today. He remained active as a coach in his time off and still frequently posts videos of him breaking down fights.
His easiest path to victory is through his boxing rather than shooting takedowns and giving Sterling a chance to take his back. If Sterling can get to that position, it does not matter how good Cejudo is at wrestling because Sterling is a master at controlling this position.
Sterling lost via knockout before to Marlon Moraes in 2017 and is not known for his striking abilities. Cejudo has shown that he does not have to rely on his wrestling to win a belt and will implement the best game plan for each opponent.
Under 3.5 Total Rounds +165
In Cejudo’s last fight with Dominick Cruz, he won via knockout in the second round. He knocked out Marlon Moraes and T.J. Dillashaw in his two fights before that, in the third and first rounds, respectively. He is often overlooked as a talented striker because he is dominant in wrestling but is dangerous.
Sterling is also good on the feet but does not have the power of Cejudo. Sterling lands 4.70 significant strikes per minute and absorbs 2.18 strikes per minute, indicative of his style.
He likes to use his length to his advantage by staying on the outside and keeping a safe distance. Cejudo lands 3.92 strikes while absorbing 2.77 strikes per minute. Cejudo could use knees, like in his fight with Dominick Cruz, because Moraes knocked him out with a knee.
Cejudo to Win by Submission or KO/TKO +330
This prop wager is a safety net because crazy things happen inside the octagon. Depending on the referee and body language of certain fighters, guys get the benefit of the doubt and every opportunity to recover.
Sometimes when this happens, the guy landing heavy shots can get a choke because his opponent is dazed. Of course, other things can happen when scrambling, and Cejudo could find a submission, however unlikely.
Based on the price of this prop, it is not a bad idea to give yourself another method of victory for similar odds. Either way, Cejudo changes his game plan with each opponent and will implement the best game plan to finish Sterling.