Henry Cejudo, Aljamain Sterling Have to Be Separated Backstage at UFC 285

Ryan Phillips
UFC 249 Cejudo v Cruz
UFC 249 Cejudo v Cruz / Douglas P. DeFelice/GettyImages

Henry Cejudo will make his long-awaited return to MMA on May 6 at UFC 288. The Olympic gold medalist will face current UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling, who is riding an eight-fight winning streak. At UFC 285 the two men came face-to-face backstage and had to be separated.

Here's video of the confrontation plus some pretty awful trash talk.

So, yes, this was almost certainly staged for hype. ESPN's cameras just "happened" to catch them confronting each other.

Cejudo became the flyweight champ by beating Demetrious Johnson in August of 2018. He defended it once, the jumped up and won the bantamweight title a year later. He vacated the flyweight championship on February 29, 2020, then defended the bantamweight title by knockout out Dominick Cruz on May 9, 2020. He announced his retirement in the ring after that fight.

Sterling won Cejudo's old title in March of 2021 when Peter Yan hit him with an illegal knee and was disqualified. The two faced each other again a year later and Sterling won a split decision. Then he scored a TKO win over T.J. Dillashaw at UFC 280 in October. Now he'll face Cejudo, who had won six fights in a row before retiring.