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UFC 288 NCAA Wrestler Predictions | 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 bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling. Find out who the biggest names in the sport of wrestling are siding with ahead of UFC 288!

Cayden Henschel - University of Wisconsin - Parkside
Pick: Henry Cejudo

“C4 all the way. I see Cejudo as a huge motivator for myself and other wrestlers. I think he’ll win because of his long legacy of championship performances.”

Order UFC 288: Sterling vs Cejudo

 

Gable Steveson – Minnesota
Pick: Henry Cejudo

“I am picking my fellow Olympic gold medalist, Henry Cejudo!”

Brody Teske – Iowa
Pick: Henry Cejudo

“I think Aljo is the biggest 135er in the game right now. I think his size and reach will cause problems early, but Cejudo is too much of a gamer. Watch his gold medal match from the Olympics and his fights with Mighty Mouse; they really show his gamesmanship. The fans win with this fight. [It’s going to] be a good one. Can’t bet against Cejudo.”

UFC Breakdown | UFC 288: Sterling vs Cejudo
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UFC Breakdown | UFC 288: Sterling vs Cejudo
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Killian Cardinale – West Virginia
Pick: Henry Cejudo

“I think Sterling is going to have the advantage of being maybe a little bit more athletic and just a bit quicker, but he also has been fighting and training a lot more recently than Cejudo, which is both a good and a bad thing. One reason is that he is going to not be as Octagon-rusted as Cejudo and the bad reason is that he’s been training more so he could be a little bit more rundown. Overall, I think I’m going to take Cejudo. I am biased because I’m a wrestler, however I think his wrestling is too good and he’s improved his striking so much in the past few years and I think as long as his motor is solid that he should take it.”

How To Watch UFC 288 In Your Country

Caleb Henson – Virginia Tech
Pick: Aljamain Sterling

“I’m going to have to go with Aljamain Sterling just for how active he’s been and the dominance he’s had his past couple fights but I’m rooting for Cejudo to pull it off.”

Jack Medley - Michigan
Pick: Henry Cejudo

“For me, I probably think Cejudo’s going to win. He can match up with his wrestling. I think, personally, he's been to the pinnacle of our sport, winning an Olympic gold medal, so I don’t think the wrestling will be a problem for him. I also think he can match the speed and explosiveness. He took a couple years off which really helped in terms of his recovery. Obviously, there might be a little bit of rust, but I’ve been following him for a little bit and the way he prepares, he goes all in. When he commits to something he goes all in on it. He really knows how to gameplan for guys, too. He’s one of the smartest fighters I’ve seen.”

Anthony Cassar – Penn State
Pick: Henry Cejudo

"I like both guys, but I’m going with Cejudo. He’s just a true competitor and his Fight IQ is top notch. I think he’ll come in with a sold gameplan but be able to adapt and find a way to win if need be. Either way I’m pumped to see it go down in the dirty Jerz.”

UFC 288 Fight By Fight Preview

Bo Bassett – Bishop McCort High School
Pick: Henry Cejudo

“I believe that both competitors are champion fighters. They will both be a decent size for the weight. Because of Cejudo’s amazing wrestling background he is built different. I have mad respect for Sterling, but he better be ready to go to deep waters. I have to go with fellow USA wrestler Henry Cejudo in an absolute war.”

David Carr – Iowa State
Pick: Henry Cejudo

"For sure, I’m a Henry Cejudo fan. He’s definitely one of the greatest combat athletes, Olympic champion, double belts, two weight classes, two divisions, so I feel like he’s going to win. He’s so well-rounded. I feel like Aljamain Sterling beats guys with his wrestling, with his jiu-jitsu, and people just don’t know how to stop him. With Henry Cejudo, how is he going to take him down and hold him down? How is he going to beat him that way? And Henry is very well-rounded and he’s a very complete fighter on the feet. He can strike, he can take down Sterling and I think that’s going to give him a lot of problems.”

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

Nick Piccininni – Oklahoma State
Pick: Aljamain Sterling

“I’m kind of torn because Cejudo’s definitely my favorite wrestler of all time and I grew up watching him, but I think I’m going to go with my Long Island homie. I’m going to go with Sterling because he’s been active, he’s looking good, he’s fought the best of the best back-to-back and he’s on a warpath. He’s going to be very hard to stop. I think he’s just looking good. It’s going to be a great fight, but I think Aljo definitely might edge out the win.”

Henry Cejudo: 'It's A Challenge Within Me' | UFC 288
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Henry Cejudo: 'It's A Challenge Within Me' | UFC 288
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Josh Heil – Campbell
Pick: Henry Cejudo

“I honestly think Cejudo will win. Although he’s been off for probably close to two years now, just the way he trains and the type of training they do out there at that Sports Performance Center, it’s very unique. I think he’ll be very ready. He’s battle tested. He’s an Olympic gold medalist, two-time UFC champ, two different weight classes. He’s very battle tested, and Sterling’s game really comes on the mat in grappling and a ton of stuff like that. Cejudo is also very good on the mat so I think Sterling will kind of struggle getting to his game over the length of that fight. Cejudo will eventually kind of pull away as Sterling can’t get to his offense.”

Elite MMA Coaches Break Down Sterling vs Cejudo Main Event

David Taylor – Penn State
Pick: Henry Cejudo

“I think Henry Cejudo will win. I like both fighters, but I think Henry has the edge grappling and I think he will be able to stay away from the submission edge that Aljo has on most opponents. I think this will be a close five-round fight and I am looking forward to watching these warriors scrap."

Bella Mir – Iowa
Pick: Aljamain Sterling

In my opinion, I’m going to go with Sterling just because he’s been fighting recently and hasn’t been taking the time off like Cejudo has. If Cejudo was in his prime, Cejudo would still beat him because his wrestling is obviously better and I feel like when it comes to MMA fights if you have the better wrestling you’re going to have the better fight, but I think the thing that Sterling has for him is he’s been fighting recently.



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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