This weekend, the world-famous Octagon makes its way back to Newark, New Jersey, for the first time in almost four years for a must-see bantamweight title fight between Aljamain Sterling and Henry Cejudo at Prudential Center.
The co-main event features two welterweight contenders looking to stamp their ticket to a title shot against reigning champion Leon Edwards, as Belal Muhammad and Gilbert Burns step into the fray on less than a month’s notice.
Order UFC 288: Sterling vs Cejudo
At UFC Newark on August 3, 2019, Colby Covington was in a similar situation as Muhammad and Burns. The former interim UFC welterweight champion was determined to secure a shot at Kamaru Usman, and former champ Robbie Lawler stood in his way.
Look back at UFC Fight Night: Covington vs Lawler as we prepare for UFC 288 from the Garden State.
Colby Covington Sets Himself Apart
“Chaos” lived up to his nickname in the main event of UFC Newark, as he overwhelmed Lawler over the course of five rounds. Covington shut out Lawler, pouring on a relentless pace that saw him throw nearly 550 strikes. That was the single-fight record for the highest output in UFC history at the time (later broken by Max Holloway’s performance vs Calvin Kattar).
How To Watch UFC 288: Sterling vs Cejudo
Covington’s outstanding victory earned him a chance to finally face Usman months later and set up the foundation for a thrilling rivalry between the two men.
Jim Miller Shines For Sparta
UFC Newark: Jim Miller Octagon Interview
UFC Newark: Jim Miller Octagon Interview
It only took 58 seconds, but boy, did UFC staples Jim Miller and Clay Guida put on a damn show. Both men were rocked off the rip, but it was an air-tight guillotine choke from Miller that put a stop to “The Carpenter” in emphatic fashion.
Matt Schnell ‘Turns Heads’ With Another Submission
Fight fans have always known what they have in Matt “Danger” Schnell.
The flyweight contender puts his foot on the gas until the pedal breaks and he delivers excitement fight after fight. That was no different in Newark, as he submitted Jordan Espinosa with a triangle choke in less than a minute-and-a-half.
Bonus Fact: Kennedy Nzechukwu Is Back In Newark
UFC light heavyweight Kennedy Nzechukwu is the only fighter from UFC Newark that will be competing at UFC 288. He defeated Darko Stosic despite three low strikes that took him off his game. He's looking for a much cleaner performance this go around versus Devin Clark.
Information On UFC 288: Sterling vs Cejudo
UFC 288 marks the first event at Prudential Center since UFC FIGHT NIGHT: COVINGTON vs. LAWLER in August 2019. The famed arena has played host to a total of eight UFC events dating back to 2007 and has seen world championship bouts featuring MMA icons including Georges St-Pierre, Jon Jones, Mauricio Rua and Urijah Faber.
UFC 288 tickets are available for purchase at Ticketmaster.com. Ticket sales are limited to eight (8) per person.
“I am excited to bring another massive Pay-Per-View back to Newark,” UFC President Dana White said. “New Jersey has always been amazing to the UFC. We’ve had so many great events there and I can’t wait to bring a stacked card to the city for UFC 288.”
“Our state is proud to host this exciting event and provide a premium experience for the thousands of UFC fans attending,” said New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy. “New Jersey’s world-class sports and entertainment venues, exceptional restaurants and hotels, and unparalleled airports and location have made our state the premier destination for some of the world’s most high-profile events. Hosting this major UFC card, coupled with the additional community-based and tourism opportunities leading up to the main event, will bring significant economic activity and impact to the region.”
UFC 288 Fight By Fight Preview
“Newark is a vibrant city accustomed to hosting mega events that help showcase our vitality, diversity, and zest for the best the world has to offer,” Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka said. “We open our arms to UFC’s astounding athletes and the thousands of fans in attendance who will experience how robust our city is in entertainment and the arts. Millions of TV households worldwide will also be ringside for this sports extravaganza and come away knowing that the City of Newark is itself a worthy destination.”
“Prudential Center is extremely excited to partner with UFC to deliver a global pay-per-view event to the great state of New Jersey,” said Tad Brown, Chief Executive Officer, Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment. “There is a rich tradition of iconic UFC events in NJ, including legendary World Championship matches which have taken place in front of enthusiastic crowds at Prudential Center in Newark. We are looking forward to adding this next chapter to our history books at UFC 288 on May 6.”
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