Aljamain Sterling, the reigning undisputed UFC bantamweight champion, and Henry Cejudo, a former undisputed flyweight and bantamweight champion, may square off on April 8 in a UFC 287 main event. Since the time of posting, the promotion had not chosen an official place to hold the event.
The potential matchup has been in the process for some time, thanks to the fighters' joint confirmation that the bout will happen in 2023. The fight was previously rumored to take place in March 2023. Even though no contracts have yet been finalized or inked. The bout is scheduled for UFC 287, however, Sterling has declared that he is currently recovering from a torn bicep and will need more time for recuperation to rejoin fighting.
For the past year, Sterling and Cejudo constantly vacillated over the possibility of fighting. When Sterling suggested Cejudo would have to grovel for a chance at the title, it now seems Cejudo won't have to.
Last year, Cejudo re-entered the USADA testing pool in anticipation of a UFC comeback. Cejudo demanded a battle versus Sterling following speaking with UFC matchmakers Hunter Campbell and Sean Shelby.
At UFC 280 in October 2022, Sterling fought TJ Dillashaw to protect his bantamweight championship. In his second championship defense as champion, he dispatched Dillashaw by way of a second-round TKO. Following suffering a knockout loss against Marlon Moraes in December 2017, Sterling has gone 8-0. Having defeated Petr Yan via disqualification due to an illegal knee at UFC 259, he successfully defended the championship versus Yan in a split-decision match at UFC 273.
Leading up to his retirement in 2020, Cejudo had gone undefeated in his previous six cameos inside the Octagon. He won the undisputed flyweight championship by way of a decision victory over Demetrious Johnson in a rematch in August 2018 and ultimately won it by way of a 32-second TKO victory over rivalry opponent TJ Dillashaw. Before defeating Cruz to retain his bantamweight title, Cejudo triumphed over Marlon Moraes in the third round of UFC 238 in 2019.
The wrestler who won the gold medal at the Olympics is now vying for the crown versus Sterling.