UFC 288: LIVE UFC Round by Round Updates and Coverage



UFC 288: LIVE UFC Round by Round Updates and Coverage

It's fight day! Stick around here for the UFC round by round updates and live results for the main card.

UFC 288 will be headlined by Aljamain Sterling and Henry Cejudo. Sterling will look to keep hold of his bantamweight belt while Cejudo tries to get it back. With how this fight has been set up and the implications for the winner, this very well could be one of the biggest bantamweight fights in UFC history.

Before we get there, there are plenty of other huge fights on the bill. A welterweight title eliminator, strawweights on their quest for a title shot, an undefeated fighter vs someone with nothing to lose, and a classic “striker vs grappler” battle.

Main Event – LIVE UFC 288 Round by Round Updates: Aljamain Sterling vs Henry Cejudo

UFC round by round updates

Aljamain Sterling will be hoping to implement a lot of forward pressure when he faces Henry Cejudo in this fight. (Credit: Newsday)

Here we go! It's time for the main event and if you said your palms aren't sweating in anticipation, I'd accuse you of being a liar. As I said bwfore, this could be one of the biggest 135lb fights in UFC history. It's easy to picture either fighter winning and hard to picture any of them losing; all that's left is to see what happens in this clash. Will Cejudo reclaim gold, or will Sterling keep the belt? We'll find out now.

Round 1: Sterling hasn't come out with a pace like this since the first Petr Yan fight. His length is giving Cejudo a lot of problems on the feet. However, the Olympian was able to score a few takedowns and some control time. As the round is closing, Sterling takes Henry down, takes his back, and hits his patented backpack position.

10-9 Sterling

Round 2: Sterling's pace is zapping Henry's energy a bit. That, or he's saving his energy for later rounds. A head kick lands for Cejudo. The champ is shooting a bit sloppier and perhaps slowing down, Aljo spins and partially lands. Both fighters slowed down a bit, pribably realizing that the other isn't going to concede easy. But, this round tilted in favor of the former champ

10-9 Cejudo

Round 3: Another very fun round! Sterling's striking is frustrating Cejudo, but a flying knee almost puts him down. In a scramble, ‘Funk Master' nearly takes his opponent's back again. Sterling is getting desperate with his shots and he cannot get Cejudo down. Henry hits that inside trip and steals another close round.

10-9 Cejudo

Round 4: These rounds are so close, and per Twitter, the scorecards are all over the place. This round was the opposite of last; it seemed that Cejudo was walking away with this round under his belt due to his wrestling defense. But, Sterling locks in a clutch takedown as the round ends.

10-9 Sterling

Round 5: I'll be honest, this fight could go either way and nobody could be mad about the decision. We've gone all five rounds! Sterling's striking was working early on, but the bigger moment was Henry landing a huge takedown after tree-trunking the champion. Close fight.

10-9 Cejudo

Official result: Aljamain Sterling via split decision

Co-main Event – LIVE UFC 288 Round by Round Updates: Belal Muhammad vs Gilbert Burns

It's official: the winner of this will get a crack at welterweight gold next. Burns had his chance back in 2021 when he took on his teammate, Kamaru Usman. Though he started out well, he fell short of claiming championship gold. Since then, he's shown that he's, as they say, got that dog in him, making him a fan-favorite fighter. Muhammad is playing the role of heel here, but don't let the boos confuse you, he's a huge threat to Burns.

Round 1: Belal is switching stances quite a bit, but his most success is from southpaw when he throws the straight left. So far, he's able to stay on the outside and pick Gilbert apart. The powerful kicks of Belal are getting to  Burns, too. Gilbert shoots for a takedown and almost eats a knee for his troubles. Muhammad stumbles Burns and the two trade some bombs afterward. A head kick seems to stumble Gilbert and that's the round.

10-9 Muhammad

Round 2: “Oh, so you're a striker now?” Is what Nate Diaz is probably saying watching Belal. Burns did a lot better this round and he landed some huge right hands, but I think Muhammad's pressure and hands won him this round, too.

10-9 Muhammad

Round 3: Belal's kicks seem to have compromised the left arm of Burns. Gilbert is hanging in there, but his only success seems to be these hail Mary blitzes. Otherwise, Muhammad is staying true to his game plan and is picking Burns apart. This was all Belal.

10-9 Muhammad

Round 4: Muhammad is just stalking Burns at this point. It seems that Gilbert has nothing but a right hand to throw now that his left arm is hurt. Gilbert did land some bombs, but nothing that changed the momentum of the fight. This fight, so far, Muhammad's for the taking.

10-9 Muhammad

Round 5: More of the same — Burns only has a right hand to offer and Muhammad is hip to it. Lurking and using his volume striking, ‘Remember The Name' put on a performance we won't forget anytime soon. Not only did Belal win the fight, but he earned himself a title shot.

10-9 Muhammad

Official result:

Jessica Andrade vs Yan Xiaonan:

Jessica Andrade is a former champion and one of the heaviest hitting females we've ever seen in any sport that involves punches. Having won 17 of her 24 wins by finish, she is one of the most exciting fighters on the roster. Her opponent, Yan Xiaonan, is very slick. Her previous win over Mackenzie Dern showed that she has what it takes to fight for a belt.

Round 1: Xiaonan is immediately maximizing her length and she's staying on the outside as to avoid the bombs of Andrade. The two are trading some unchecked leg kicks that seem to have a lot of sting on them. Xiaonan isn't afraid to engage in an educated brawl, and she's having some success doing this. Andrade came running in and got caught. Down she went and that's the fight!

Official result: Yan Xiaonan via first round TKO

Movsar Evloev vs Diego Lopes

Movsar Evloev is undefeated with 16 fighters up, 16 wins down. He was scheduled to take on Bryce Mitchell, but the injury bug bit and Mitchell had to withdraw from UFC 288. However, this fight should still be fun! Diego Lopes has stepped up on short notice and he's got nothing to lose. Moreover, Lopes' style is a very interesting one that could give Movsar some problems.

Round 1: These two waste no time going at it! Lopes lands a huge shot early; he's fighting like he's got nothing to lose. Evloev gets a takedown and Lopes is attacking the legs, but the undefeated fighter is hip to it and avoids being submitted. Lopes' guard is very active and it has Evloev thinking. Regardless, Movsar lands some shots but then Lopes locks in an armbar that was just shy of winning him the fight. Movsar gets revenge by landing a huge right hand from the top. This was a very, very close round that ended with Lopes attacking a modified triangle. Perhaps controversial, but I'll give this to the newcomer.

10-9 Lopes

Round 2: Both Lopes and Evloev trade bombs early. However, it's the right hand of Movsar that's winning the round for him; it seems he can't miss with this punch. Lopes is a lot slower than he was on the first round, and that's to be expected given the short notice. Movsar scores a takedown and is bullying the newcomer now. The shots are raining down and the ref is taking a very close look. Lopes survives.

10-9 Evloev

Round 3: What a round! In the early goings, it was all Evloev. Lopes looked like he caught a second wind, but Movsar wore on him. In the last two minutes, Lopes was able to almost secure a kimura and he ended the fight with a deep kneebar locked in. This round is control time vs big moments. However, I think Movsar will remain undefeated

10-9 Evloev

Official result: Movsar Evloev via decision

The Main Card Begins Now! LIVE UFC 288 Round by Round Updates: Kron Gracie vs Charles Jourdain

Kron Gracie returns and the UFC isn't giving him a tune-up fight to break his four-year hiatus. Charles Jourdain is a very game fighter with slick striking and a 93% finishing rate that says he doesn't care for hearing the judges' opinions. Kron Gracie has pretty good hands in his own right, but with a last name like his, it makes sense that 100% of his wins are by submission.

Round 1: You can immediately feel the tension between these two. Jourdain is popping his jab and he slips one through Gracie's guard. Jourdain lands a huge combination but Gracie initiates a clinch. Gracie looks desperate early. He continues to clip Kron from the outside. Charles' uppercut is money. Kron's chin has held up this far, though. Gracie pulls guard and it's probably the smartest thing he could've done. Gracie has Charles' posture broken but he breaks free and the fight returns to the feet.

10-9 Jourdain

Round 2: Charles continues to play matador and he's clipping Kron. Gracie pulls guard again but he's on the fence which is not ideal, but better than eating punches on the feet. Despite controlling posture and working with a high guard, Gracie is struggling to really threaten from his back. Jourdain returns to his feet. Kron is a sitting duck on the feet so he pulls guard again. The round ends there.

10-9 Jourdain

Round 3: Gracie is desperate; pulling guard has yet to work for him, but he's had close to zero success on the feet. Jourdain is lighting Kron up with his fast hands. A huge knee to the body lands, but Kron remains stoic. Gracie successfully pulls guard again and the crowd is nowhere near pleased. Either Kron somehow thinks he's winning, or he's just happy with losing a decision, but there's no urgency in his attack. Charles returns to his feet again and he's ripping leg kicks on the grounded Gracie. Charles turns up the pressure in the last ten seconds and the final horn sounds. This is easily a win for Charles Jourdain.

10-9 Jourdain

Official result: Charles Jourdain via decision

Erik is a long-time MMA fan and writer. Ever since catching some Chael Sonnen trash talk on a commercial, he's been hooked on the sport. Erik spent a lot of time writing while attending college at Wichita State University. Now, he spends his time covering the sport of MMA, training in BJJ here and there, and occasionally hitting skateparks!