On Tuesday, the UFC confirmed what had already been known for several days, announcing that UFC 288 would land in the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ in May.
Among a number of officially announced bouts is an appearance by Kron Gracie (5-1), not seen in action since 2019. He’ll make his long-awaited return against Canadian Charles Jourdain (13-6-1) in a featherweight match-up.
Gracie last fought in October 2019 in a Fight of the Night winning performance opposite UFC Hall of Famer Cub Swanson — though Gracie came up short in the fight, losing a unanimous decision. The loss was the first of Gracie’s professional career.
In his five fights prior, Gracie, a former RIZIN Fighting Federation athlete, had submitted all five of his opponents. In his UFC debut, he put away Alex “Bruce Leeroy” Caceres inside of a round, earning a Performance of the Night bonus for that effort.
Kron Gracie is the son of Rickson Gracie, and nephew of UFC legend Royce Gracie. Meaning that going to the ground with him is a dicey prospect at best.
Jourdain has lost back-to-back fights, mostly recently dropping a decision against Nathaniel Wood at UFC Paris last September.
A flyweight match-up between Nate Maness and Zhalgas Zhumagulov was also revealed Tuesday. A bantamweight title fight between Aljamain Sterling and Henry Cejudo is expected to feature on the card, but has not been officially announced by the UFC.
UFC 288 in New Jersey on May 6, 2023 currently features the following reported match-ups:
- Aljamain Sterling (c) vs. Henry Cejudo — for the UFC bantamweight championship
- Charles Oliveira vs. Beneil Dariush
- Khaos Williams vs. Rolando Bedoya
- Johnny Muñoz Jr. vs. Daniel Santos
- Bryce Mitchell vs. Jonathan Pearce
- Marina Rodriguez vs. Virna Jandiroba
- Andre Petroski vs. Armen Petrosyan
- Devin Clark vs. Kennedy Nzechukwu
- Jéssica Andrade vs. Yan Xiaonan
- Nate Maness vs. Zhalgas Zhumagulov
- Kron Gracie vs. Charles Jourdain