UFC 288 Betting Guide: Odds, Picks, Fighters, Analysis, and Strategies

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UFC 288 Betting Guide: Odds, Picks, Fighters, Analysis, and Strategies

Author: American Gambler Staff | Last Updated: May 8, 2023

The UFC is returning to Newark, NJ, in May with UFC 288 as part of the UFC schedule. This will be the first time since August 2019 that the organization has held a bout in the state, and just the ninth overall. 

We will take a look at the latest UFC 288 odds, and dive into how you can bet on this marquee event.

UFC 288 Fight Card: Overview and Analysis

The main fight of UFC 288 will feature a battle for the bantamweight title as Aljamain Sterling takes on the returning Henry Cejudo. Sterling is on a hot streak, having secured eight victories in a row, including a win over TJ Dillashaw in October. Cejudo, who is coming out of retirement after three years, is now ready to face Sterling in what promises to be an exciting match.

Beneil Dariush was all set to battle against the ex-lightweight champion Charles Oliveira in the championship. But, Oliveira's training had to be stopped midway as he encountered an injury. He won't be able to compete against Dariush as planned, resulting in the postponement of the fight.

Taking that spot will be Gilbert Burns and Belal Muhammad. Burns will return to the octagon shortly after his victory over Jorge Masvidal at UFC 287, which means he isn't fully recovered. The winner of this five-round fight will then have a chance to try to claim the welterweight title.

UFC 288 Schedule: When and Where to Watch

  • – Date: Saturday, May 6, 2023
  • – Start Time: Early Preliminary fights begin at 6 PM ET, Main Card at 10 PM ET 
  • – Location: Prudential Center in Newark, NJ
  • – Where to watch: ESPN+ PPV, ESPN, ESPN+

UFC 288 Fighters: Profiles and Stats

Early Preliminary Card

  • – Flyweight: Rafael Estevam (11-0-0) vs. Zhalgas Zhumagulov (14-8-0)
  • – Bantamweight: Daniel Santos (10-2-0) vs. Johnny Munoz Jr (12-2-0)
  • – Middleweight: Phil Hawes (12-4-0) vs. Ikram Aliskerov (13-1-0)
  • – Middleweight: Joseph Holmes (8-3-0) vs. Claudio Ribeiro (10-3-0)
  • – Heavyweight: Braxton Smith (5-1-0) vs. Parker Porter (13-8-0)

Preliminary Card

  • – Lightweight: Drew Dober (26-11-0, 1 NC) vs. Matt Frevola (10-3-1)
  • – Light heavyweight: Kennedy Nzechukwu (11-3-0) vs. Devin Clark (14-7-0)
  • – Welterweight: Khaos Williams (13-3-0) vs. Rolando Bedoya (13-1-0)
  • – Women Strawweight: Marina Rodriguez (16-2-2) vs. Virna Jandiroba (18-3-0)

Main Card

  • – Main Event Title Fight: Bantamweight: Aljamain Sterling (22-3-0) vs Henry Cejudo (16-2-0) 
  • – Featherweight: Movsar Evloev (16-0-0) vs. Bryce Mitchell (15-2-0)
  • – Featherweight: Kron Gracie (5-1-0) vs Charles Jourdain (13-6-1)
  • – Welterweight: Gilbert Burns (22-3-0, 1NC) vs Belal Muhammad (22-5-0)
  • – Women Strawweight: Jessica Andrade (24-10-0) vs. Yan Xiaonan (16-3-0, 1 NC)

Fighters and Their Strengths and Weaknesses

A look at the fighters in the Main Event, Sterling and Cejudo, shows a competitive match in the octagon is coming. Both are strong in their own ways and the UFC 288 odds hint at a tough fight. 

At 33 years old, Sterling's primary combat skills are in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, where he holds a black belt, and wrestling. He is fiercely aggressive and continuously attempts to take down his opponents. With exceptional ground movement, Sterling is a difficult opponent to control. He stands 5'7″ and has a 71″ reach.

Although standing upright is not his strength, he remains persistent, making him an irritating match to deal with. Meanwhile, his jabs do not pose much of a threat. Finally, it is worth taking note of Sterling's superb physical shape. He knows how to pace himself across all five rounds, which can make a big difference.

Despite being an Olympic wrestling champion and former UFC bantamweight champion, Cejudo, 36 years old, announced his retirement after winning three matches in 2019-20. He hasn't taken a break, though, constantly training and spending his time in the gym. It's worth mentioning that Cejudo has never won a fight at the highest level of freestyle through submission. He stands 5'4″ and has a 67.5″ reach.

UFC 288 Predictions: Who Will Win and Why

Sterling has the upper hand to secure his victory owing to two reasons. Firstly, he possesses a great physique and is adept at readying himself for his adversary. Secondly, he has an edge over Cejudo in terms of brawn and physical dimensions. Moreover, there are doubts about Cejudo's endurance when pitted against Sterling.

It's been three years since Cejudo, and going up against the reigning champion for five rounds will be a challenge. The fight is expected to last a long time, with neither fighter wanting to make a costly mistake. Sterling also has a longer reach, which will give him an edge. 

The opening round could potentially go on indefinitely. As the fight drags on, Cejudo's chances of winning diminish significantly. 

Where and How To Bet On UFC 288?

All sportsbooks carry UFC and MMA fights, although not all of the fights on a given card will necessarily be included. It depends on where the fight takes place and the status of the fighters. In some instances, certain UFC betting sites won't list the odds until after the weigh-in, which takes place close to the start of the fight. 

The favorite fighter in UFC betting is always represented by a negative (-) number, while the underdog is represented by a higher number, typically a positive (+) number. However, it's possible (but very rare) to see two fighters with negative numbers. In these cases, the fighter with the lower number is the favorite and the other is the underdog.

If Fighter A has odds of -240, a $240 bet on the fighter would earn $100 if he or she wins. On the other hand, a $100 bet on an underdog at odds of +200 would return $200 if the underdog wins. In both cases, the winnings are in addition to the amount of the bet.

There are typically three betting options for UFC fights:


This is the easiest type of bet to understand. You simply have to choose who you think will win the match. Your earnings will depend on the odds or probabilities and an analysis of the fighters.

UFC Bets Per Round

In this type of bet, the house sets an average threshold for the duration of the fight. Typically, it will be “Plus or Minus 2.5 Rounds.” Thus, you can bet if you think the fight will end before or after the established time.

UFC Win Method Betting

You can bet if the fight will go to a decision or if the fight will end early by submission or KO/TKO. This is the most difficult type of bet to predict.

Betting Odds and Lines for UFC 288

Main Card

  • – Main Event Title Fight: Bantamweight: Aljamain Sterling (22-3-0) vs Henry Cejudo (16-2-0) 
  • – Featherweight: Movsar Evloev (16-0-0) vs. Bryce Mitchell (15-2-0)
  • – Featherweight: Kron Gracie (5-1-0) vs Charles Jourdain (13-6-1)
  • – Welterweight: Gilbert Burns (22-3-0, 1NC) vs Belal Muhammad (22-5-0)
  • – Women Strawweight: Jessica Andrade (24-10-0) vs. Yan Xiaonan (16-3-0, 1 NC)

Betting Strategies for UFC 288

To make money betting on UFC fights, as with any type of sports betting, you can't let emotion play a part. The ufc 288 odds choices have to be based on analysis, with perhaps a little bit of gut instinct.

Here are some tips to increase your odds of winning UFC bets:

Study The Fighters

Regardless of your background as a UFC fan, it's important to keep up with and research the evolution of each fighter before the event. Everyone, even the best fighters in the UFC, have a specific weakness that can be exposed by the right opponent.

Don't Focus Only On Records

It is essential to know a fighter's win-loss record, but it is more important to take into account their experience and skills. A fighter might have a 9-0 record, but if those opponents were unranked or ranked low, the wins don't carry the same weight if he's about to go up against a ranked opponent.

Versatility Vs Specialty

Some fighters have a well-rounded profile and do well in all areas of combat, while others are highly specialized in a single fighting style. Analyze what advantages this situation gives each one and consider what weaknesses each exposes to the other.

Right-handed or Left-handed

Statistically, if two fighters have the same striking abilities and one is right-handed and the other left-handed, the lefty will have the advantage with a southpaw position (right hand in front). This is simply because there are fewer left-handed fighters than right-handed fighters. Therefore, the chances of having faced them is lower, which makes them less conventional.

Internal Factors of the Fighters

Take into account factors such as the weight cut before the fight, whether the fighter has had any recent injuries and also his cardio and stamina history. You can also analyze the momentum that a fighter brings and the motivations with which he comes to a specific fight.

External Factors of the Fighters

Factors such as weather and the notice time a fighter has had for the fight make a big difference. It is not the same for a fighter to have the necessary time to have a full training camp of eight weeks than to be notified a week before to replace another injured fighter.

Expert Picks and Predictions for UFC 288

For the Main Event, as the UFC 288 odds show, bettors can expect a lot of action, although the fight will get off to a slow start. The first round will see both Sterling and Cejudo testing each other before they both start increasing their offenses. Cejudo can easily go toe-to-toe with Sterling, but the latter is going to find a well-timed attack to secure the wi

American Gambler Staff