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UFC 288 NCAA Wrestler Predictions Part 2 | UFC FIGHT PASS

Find Out Who Some Of The Biggest Names In NCAA Wrestling Have Taking Home The UFC 288 Main Event!

It’s the return of Henry Cejudo and the only community more hyped to see the return of Triple C is the wrestling community. After a lengthy layoff from the sport, Cejudo has one of the stiffest tests of his career in UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling. Find out who the biggest names in the sport of wrestling are siding with ahead of UFC 288!

Part 1 Of The Predictions

Austin O’Connor – North Carolina
Pick: Henry Cejudo

“Henry is going to win. He is an Olympic gold medalist in the hardest sport there is. He’s just got a gift of being a champion. I respect Aljamain and he’s coming off a few impressive wins, but I just think Henry is on a different level.”

Order UFC 288: Sterling vs Cejudo

Peyton Robb – Nebraska
Pick: Aljamain Sterling

“As much as I want to pick Cejudo because of his wrestling background, I think Sterling will win for a couple reasons. He’s on a roll now. We haven’t seen Cejudo fight in a while and I think Sterling has made a lot of improvements, especially between fights with Yan. It should be a great fight, though.”

Trent Hidlay – North Carolina State
Pick: Henry Cejudo

“I’m going with Henry Cejudo to win in the upcoming fight. Even though he is coming off a lengthy layoff I think that his striking is stronger than Sterling’s and his wrestling is better than anyone in the division. It will be hard for Sterling to get on top and dominate like he usually does. Cejudo is a different type of combat athlete that has won just about everything you possibly can. I think that he adds another win to his record.”

Kyven Gadson – Iowa State
Pick: Henry Cejudo

“I’m going with Henry, but I also do believe watching Henry and watching Aljamain, Henry has a certain level of intelligence and Fight IQ. I think he’s one of the most aware fighters out there. He takes a lot of science and toughness and meshes it together in a way that I don’t think many people have or many people can. There’s just that innate ability to see what’s happening and know essentially everything that’s going to happen and dictate where it’s going to happen at. That’s why I think, outside of the personal situation, he’s going to win. I was just listening to the Wrestling Changed My Life podcast and they just dropped a six-part podcast called ‘The Henry Cejudo Experiment’ and I just feel like Henry wants to go out with one more bang. I just feel like he’s going to be very sharp and I wouldn’t say their wrestling cancels out because they’re both wrestlers; Henry was at a different level. I feel like his knowledge and Fight IQ is on a different level, especially now that he’s coaching.”

How To Watch UFC 288 In Your Country

Mark Branch – Wyoming Head Coach
Pick: Aljamain Sterling

“Hard to pick against a great wrestler but Cejudo hasn’t been in the ring in almost three years and I’m afraid that rust is going to hurt him. I still think he could pull it off just based on knowing how to win in huge moments, but my money is on Sterling… Very little money, though.”

RELATED: Henry Cejudo Found The Fire To Fuel His Return | Aljo Chats With Megan Olivi

Chase Saldate – Michigan State
Pick: Henry Cejudo

“I believe he’s a level above Sterling as far as Fight IQ, boxing and even grappling. Sterling is an amazing fighter; I just think Cejudo is a level above. Cejudo being retired plays a big factor. I believe it will be a close fight, ending with Cejudo winning.”

UFC 288 Fight By Fight Preview

Main Event Preview | UFC 288: Sterling vs Cejudo
Main Event Preview | UFC 288: Sterling vs Cejudo
Daton Fix – Oklahoma State
Pick: Henry Cejudo

“I think coming back from a three-year layoff is difficult, but I also think that Cejudo will be ready. He is such a good strategist that he will be ready for whatever Sterling comes with. I predict Cejudo wins by unanimous decision.”

Richie Lewis – Rutgers
Pick: Henry Cejudo

“I got Triple C. I think he is a master game planner with discipline and the ability to make the adjustments needed in live action. He is too dangerous standing and don’t think Aljo will be able to get his grips on him. However, I think Aljo always poses a threat with his backpack, if he finds a way, I think it’s early. If not, Cejudo builds momentum through five.”

Andrew Alirez – Northern Colorado
Pick: Henry Cejudo

“If I was a betting man, I’m rolling with Henry. When you reach a certain level, I know he’s coming off a long layoff, but I feel like you just have an understanding of what you need to do and what it takes to do it. Places where I think Aljo is good, like with the wrestling, I don’t see him taking Henry down. I think Henry’s distance game and how smart he is on the feet is just better and I think he’s more of a complete fighter than Aljo, so I’m rolling with Triple C.”

Elite MMA Coaches Break Down Sterling vs Cejudo Main Event

Matt Ramos – Purdue
Pick: Henry Cejudo

“I know they’re both successful wrestlers, but I’ve got to go with the Olympic gold medalist. There’s just something about competing at the international level that really separates them from the rest of their competition.”

Mekhi Lewis – Virginia Tech
Pick: Aljamain Sterling

“I think Aljo takes the bout. He looked great against Dillashaw even though TJ did have an injury and against Yan in their second fight before that. I think Aljo's striking complements his wrestling and grappling just enough to negate Cejudo's wrestling acumen. I definitely think Aljo has the advantage in the striking department, and that'll be the difference. I wouldn't discredit Cejudo's skills, but he hasn't been in the cage in a good while, so I definitely think that would be a factor. Cejudo is a gamer and challenges early on, but Aljo adjusts. Fight goes full 25 minutes, Aljo by unanimous decision.”

Zach Bogle – StaleMates Podcast
Pick: Henry Cejudo

“I got Triple C. His wrestling is miles ahead of Aljamain and I will never count out the Olympic champ. Cejudo by finish.”

RELATED: Significant Stats Behind 288's Biggest Fights

Jacob Kasper – Duke
Pick: Henry Cejudo

“As a grade school kid I saw Henry Cejudo jump onto the senior level freestyle wrestling scene. A kid that didn’t look much older than me beating full grown men on the highest level. By the time I left middle school, he had won Olympic gold. As I graduated high school, he started his MMA career and before I graduated college, he had beaten the pound for pound number one fighter walking the face of the Earth.

“I think Aljamain Sterling is one of the best martial artists in the world regardless of weight. I believe he is doing everything right, I respect him and the love and respect he gives the wrestling community. 99% of the time I’m betting and cheering on Aljamain, but I’ve grown up watching Henry Cejudo say what he was going to do and then make good on it, winning at the highest level in everything he’s set out to do. I believe Henry Cejudo is the greatest combat sports athlete of all time; better yet, I’ve seen him prove it time and time again.”

Alex Facundo – Penn State
Pick: Henry Cejudo

“They are both great fighters. Both Cejudo and Aljo come forward and are going to get in each other’s face, which makes it an exciting fight. I think Cejudo will pull off the win because he has such a high Fight IQ, his speed and it’s going to be hard to wrestle against an Olympic champ if that’s what Aljo’s game plan is going to be.”

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UFC 288: Sterling vs Cejudo took place live from the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey on May 6, 2023. See the Final Results, Official Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses - and relive the action on UFC Fight Pass