Best UFC 288 Bets: Sterling vs. Cejudo Picks

Eric Uribe
By , Updated on: May 4, 2023 08:00 PM
Best UFC 288 Bets: Sterling vs. Cejudo Picks

Here we go — UFC 288 comes at to you on Saturday, May 6 in New Jersey. The fight card is headlined by Aljamain Sterling and Henry Cejudo for the bantamweight championship. We’ll be offering free UFC 288 betting picks on that fight, plus two more on the night. Keep reading if you want to make money this weekend.

Sterling vs. Cejudo Betting Pick

This fight is tough to put a finger on because there are obvious question marks around both fighters. That’s why no one should be surprised that the best betting sites for UFC have the Cejudo vs. Sterling moneyline at near even. The reigning champion is the favorite, but not by much, as seen below:

Aljamain Sterling-120-120-120
Henry Cejudo-110-110-110

Sterling might be the least respected UFC champion in history. He beat Petr Yan for the title by disqualification but did win the rematch by split decision. That win did little to convince UFC fans and bettors alike that Sterling was championship material though. Neither did the successful title defense afterward against TJ Dillashaw who had an injured shoulder that night.

For this reason, Cejudo is the popular betting pick among the masses. That’s in spite of him coming out of retirement after a three-year layoff. Look, prime Cejudo was something else. The former Olympic wrestling champion won belts at both bantamweight and flyweight. But there’s no telling how much of that Cejudo is still around. He’s now 36 years old, and inactivity isn’t kind to any fighter.

A quick look at the tale of the tape reveals Sterling has one huge physical advantage — he’s the naturally bigger fighter. That’s apparent with Sterling possessing a reach seven inches longer than the challenger. This should give him the edge when standing up and striking. But most of all, this size should help Sterling maneuver out of any wrestling move Cejudo applies. Even an Olympian will struggle to hold down a fighter so much longer than him.

So yes, our money is squarely on Sterling. Do we think he’s a dominant champion? Of course, not. However, he’s being disrespected a little too much. Plus, we do expect some fall-off in Cejudo’s game from so many years away from the sport.

Aljamain Sterling to beat Henry Cejudo at UFC 288

Gilbert Burns vs. Belal Muhammad Betting Pick

UFC 288 was without a co-main event when Charles Oliveira became injured and was unavailable to battle Beneil Dariush as planned. Enter this welterweight matchup with the winner being guaranteed a title fight AFTER Leon Edwards vs. Colby Covington. Oddsmakers have set Burns vs. Muhammad at almost pick ‘em:

Gilbert Burns-130-130-130
Belal Muhammad+100+100+100

Fighting on such short notice is a massive — and we mean massive — risk for each fighter. For Burns, this is the second fight in a month’s time. At the previous UFC 287 card, he beat Jorge Masvidal by unanimous decision. He didn’t sustain major damage from the aging Masvidal, but it’s not like he left the fight completely unscathed either.

For Muhammad, he hasn’t entered the octagon since late 2022. He wasn’t even preparing to fight anytime soon so not like he’s been in a fight camp. Not only that, but he’s needing to drop 19 pounds to make the contracted weight. His team said so exactly two weeks before fight night. Muhammad will likely make weight, but he won’t be at 100 percent capacity after losing so much so fast.

To us, Muhammad is at a bigger disadvantage than Burns going into this one. He requested and was granted a five-round fight which will make this bout even harder on his body that’s not been in training mode. We’re confident Burns pulls out a convincing victory.

Gilbert Burns to beat Belal Muhammad at UFC 288

Jessica Andrade vs. Yan Xiaonan Betting Pick

For our final UFC 288 bet, we’re focused on the strawweight showdown between Andrade and Xiaonan. This fight is more lopsided odds-wise than the prior two, but it’s still not an overwhelming disparity either. Andrade is being pegged as the favorite over Xiaonan, as seen below:

Jessica Andrade-210-210-210
Yan Xiaonan+165+165+165

We’ll be upfront and say we’re a bit hesitant to pick Andrade. You might be surprised to learn this is Andrade's third fight in the past five months. She picked up a win in January but was then tapped out the month after. While we applaud Andrade's insane activity, we’re also not sure it’s smart.

Xiaonan is a dangerous fighter as is, so giving her a rest advantage might not be wise. We believe the underdog is worth a bet here. Our prediction is Xiaonan pieces up Andrade with her elite striking skills in this one.

Yan Xiaonan to beat Jessica Andrade at UFC 288

How To Bet On UFC 288?

For more UFC 288 betting options, visit one of the bookmakers featured in the table below. All five you see listed are industry leaders, per our latest online sportsbook review section. Not only do they have you covered for this upcoming card, but everyone that UFC puts on this year, which is almost every weekend. For UFC 288 specifically, they offer every type of bet — moneyline, over/under on rounds, and props. Props, for sure, are a great way to mix-up the betting action!

Meet the author

Eric Uribe

Eric has been passionate about sports since he was 10 years old. He brings over 10 years of sports journalism experience to his expert coverage of sports betting. Hailing from the US, Eric leverages his diverse expertise covering sports at all levels – from high schoo...

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