Welcome to Sportskeeda's daily MMA News Roundup, where we present the biggest UFC updates and other stories from the world of mixed martial arts.
In today's issue, we talk about Sean O'Malley's long awaited UFC 288 main event prediction, a prelim fighter misses weight by 4 pounds, and a UFC veteran pleads not to be cut after suffering serious injury.
#1. Sean O'Malley prediction for UFC 288 bantamweight title bout
'Funk Master' is looking to make history by becoming the first fighter to defend the 135lb title three successive times, whereas Cejudo could become the first fighter in the promotions history to win the belt over the age of 35.
Due to the high stakes of the bout and the skill of both men, fighters and fans alike have gone back and forth whilst trying to predict the outcome.
Sean O'Malley has taken time to give his thoughts on the main event and opted to give his prediction for the bout this week. 'Sugar' is expected to face the winner, after earning himself the No.1 contender status following his victory over Petr Yan at UFC 280.
According to O'Malley, Cejudo will outpace Sterling after the champion suffered a seriously tough weightcut before hitting the scales. He said:
"I think Henry gets the job done. I think Henry's going to outpace Aljo, Aljo's cutting too much weight. I think Henry is going to, whether he's going to get the decision or get the job done in the later rounds, um, I think he's going to get the job done. I'm calling it right now boys, Henry gets the job done."
#2. UFC 288 prelim fighter misses weight by 3 pounds as card also suffers fight cancellations
UFC 288 has appeared to follow suit with a number of cards this year after multiple fighters either missed weight or were forced to withdraw from the event due to injuries.
The card will take place on Saturday night at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey and will be main-evented by Aljamain Sterling (134) defending his bantamweight title against Henry Cejudo (135).
Cejudo was first onto the scales, immediately sending a message to his opponent after landing dead on the championship weight for their bout. Sterling appeared an hour or so later, and looked visibily relieved when his 134lbs weight was announced. It's believed to have been a severely tough weightcut for the bantamweight champ.
The co-main event is also set to goahead without a hitch as Belal Muhammad (170) and Gilbert Burns (171) hit the scales with ease for their No.1 contender welterweight bout.
Elsewhere, the early prelims are where the issues lie after Zhalgas Zhumagulov and Rafael Estevam's bout was called off due to Estevam reportedly suffering from weight cutting issues.
The issues didn't stop there as a middleweight bout between Joseph Holmes and Claudio Riberio was forced to proceed as a catchweight fight instead. Holmes stepped onto the scales at a staggering 189lbs, three pounds over the middleweight limit. As a punishment, Holmes will forfeit 20% of his purse to Riberio.
#3. UFC veteran pleads with organization not to cut him after suffering potential career ending injury
Brian Kelleher has addressed the UFC in a number of tweets, pleading with the organization to let him recover from injury so he can finish the last fight of his contract.
The veteran started his MMA career back in 2011 and eventually made his way to the UFC in 2017. After going 8-7 in his 15 fights, the 36-year-old is currently on a two-fight skid.
Kelleher was due to face Journey Newson at UFC Fight Night: Song vs. Simon last month, but withdrew from the bout last minute during fight week. After first expecting to be back in training in a number of weeks, it was later confirmed that 'Boom's' injury could infact be career-ending.
Despite the ambiguity surrounding his future, the veteran is determined to bow out on his own terms. Brian Kelleher took to Twitter to plead with the promotion not to cut him, assuring them he would be back in a number of months.
"Hey @ufc, I plan on getting fixed up and cleared within 3-4 months. Surgeon is very optimistic in that and has done this procedure to other current fighters who have come back and won fights. I still feel young and have atleast 3 years left in me."
"I have stepped up many times and will always be that guy for the company that I love. I ask please that you keep the door open for me to come back once I’m medically cleared. I will be even better when I’m all fixed up. I’m only going under the knife to continue my fighting career and I’ll be ready"
Kelleher finished his plea by stating he would be ready by November:
"In November for msg in new York fully healthy in my home state ! This is all I know. All I ask is atleast one last farewell fight @danawhite @seanshelby"