UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling has disputed Eric Albarracin's assertion that UFC 288 sold 700K pay-per-views, calling it "shenanigans." Sterling successfully defended his title against Henry Cejudo by split decision in the event's main event held at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
Albarracin, Cejudo's coach, claimed that the event did significant numbers during a recent appearance on "The MMA Hour." Albarracin stated, "Now you're (Sterling) trying to benefit off the cringe. Are you serious? You know many pay-per-views he got? Seven hundred thousand. He needs to be thanking us. He never even got over 200,000 on a pay-per-view. This one was 700,000. On ESPN+, which is more than double of anything he ever got."
Sterling’s team declined to comment when asked about Albarracin’s claim, but the champion himself seems to be refuting it. After the interview, Sterling tweeted at Albarracin, saying he does not expect for UFC 288 to clear 250,000 pay-per-view buys.
.@CPTdasAmericas I was told yesterday we’d be lucky to break 250k PPV buys and you’re going on air to lie that you know for certain that we made 700,000 buys?! Are you on the bottle this afternoon bro?? Stop the CAP 🧢 #MMAHour— Aljamain Sterling (@funkmasterMMA) May 10, 2023
Albarracin thinks Cejudo won Rounds 2,3 and 5. The judges’ scorecards were varied, but “The Funkmaster” thinks he should have been awarded the first four rounds.
Not one to let things lie, Albarracin responded with a screen shot of an unsubstantiated report saying UFC 288 sold an estimated 700,000 pay-per-views, which Sterling dismissed as “nonsense.”
With the win, Sterling now holds the record for most title defenses in UFC bantamweight history at three. His next fight is expected to be against Sean O’Malley, who faced off with Sterling in the octagon after his win.