UFC 288 took place on May 6th, 2023 and as several top BJJ black belts were booked on the same card, there could have been a ton of exciting grappling action in the results. Instead, it was almost entirely a bad night for veteran grapplers and fans of BJJ must not have been too happy with the outcome of most of these fights. It started off promisingly to begin with, as Judo and BJJ black belt Virna Jandiroba managed to outwork Marina Rodriguez to a unanimous decision on the preliminary card. After that though, that’s when it all started to fall apart for the MMA fighters who favoured grappling.
Kron Gracie was booked to make his comeback to professional MMA after four years away from the sport, and he was taking on Charles Jourdain in the opening fight of the main card. He struggled the last time he was seen in the cage and it seemed as though the time away hadn’t done him any good at all. Gracie ended up losing a very convincing decision in a fight that was characterised by him getting taken apart on the feet and repeatedly pulling guard, without being able to mount much offense from the bottom.
Next up in the results for those flying the BJJ flag at UFC 288 was Gilbert Burns, who was attempting to make an incredibly quick turnaround as he took on Belal Muhammad on just a few week’s notice. This fight was much more of a striking match really, and Muhammad was just too good there for Burns to deal with as he lost almost every round by a decent margin. Halfway through the fight he was complaining to his corner about an injury to his left arm and at that point, he was unable to mount anywhere near as much offense as Muhammad.
The final fight of the night at UFC 288 the return of Henry Cejudo as he challenged Aljamain Sterling for the promotion’s bantamweight world championship. It was a tough match for both men really and although Cejudo had several moments of success later in the rounds, Sterling did just enough to come away with the win on the judge’s scorecards. It was close though, and if just one or two exchanges had gone in Cejudo’s favour then he could easily have won the fight.
UFC 288 Full Results
Aljamain Sterling defeats Henry Cejudo via Decision – Split (47-48, 48-47, 48-47)
Aljamain Sterling retains the UFC Bantamweight World Championship
Belal Muhammad defeats Gilbert Burns via Decision – Unanimous (50-45, 49-46, 49-46)
Yan Xiaonan defeats Jessica Andrade via TKO – Punches (Round 1, 2:20)
Movsar Evloev defeats Diego Lopes via Decision – Unanimous (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Charles Jourdain defeats Kron Gracie via Decision – Unanimous (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Matt Frevola defeats Drew Dober via TKO – Punches (Round 1, 4:08)
Kennedy Nzechukwu defeats Devin Clark via Technical Submission – Guillotine Choke (Round 2, 2:28)
Khaos Williams defeats Rolando Bedoya via Decision – Split (27-30, 29-28, 29-28)
Virna Jandiroba defeats Marina Rodriguez via Decision – Unanimous (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Parker Porter defeats Braxton Smith via TKO – Punches (Round 1, 2:10)
Ikram Aliskerov defeats Phil Hawes via KO – Punches (Round 1, 2:10)
Claudio Ribeiro defeats Joseph Holmes via TKO – Punches (Round 2, 3:21)
The full UFC 288 event replay, including all of the above results, will be available to watch on UFC Fight Pass.