UFC 292: Sterling vs. O'Malley Preview & Best Bets


Aug 18, 2023

A UFC Bantamweight Title bout headlines UFC 292 as the champion Aljamain Sterling defends his belt against No. 2 ranked Sean O’Malley.

  • Date: Saturday, August 19, 2023 | Time: 10:00 p.m. ET
  • Venue: TD Garden – Boston, Massachusetts | TV: PPV

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Chito and The Young Punisher

No. 6 ranked bantamweight Marlon “Chito” Vera takes on No. 10 Pedro “The Young Punisher” Munhoz. The Young Punisher isn’t that young, entering the cage at 36. He’s coming off a win over Chris Gutierrez in April but has four losses and a no-contest over his previous six bouts. Vera is coming off a loss to Cory Sandhagen but had a four-fight win streak before that contest.

Vera is two inches taller and has a substantial six-inch reach advantage. Chito has slightly more power, averaging 0.67 knockdowns per 15 minutes to Munhoz’s 0.51. Munhoz lands 1.21 more significant strikes per minute but also absorbs 0.88 more. Both fighters have a similar takedown output, but Munhoz has the better defense rate.

At -200, the oddsmakers are favoring Vera to win, but we’re looking for the big payout in this bout and taking him to win by KO/TKO at +470.

Staring Down the Barrel of a Magnum

The UFC Women’s Strawweight Champion Zhang “Magnum” Weili defends her title against Amanda Lemos. Weili is 23-3, with her only losses being back-to-back title fights against Rose Namajunas and her MMA debut. Lemos is riding a two-fight win streak, beating Michelle Waterson and Marina Rodriguez.

Both women are five-foot-eight, but Lemos will have a two-inch reach advantage. Lemos will also have the power advantage, averaging 1.12 knockdowns per 15 minutes. However, Weili throws more volume, landing 5.79 significant strikes per minute to Lemos’s 4.51. Weili also averages more takedowns per minute, but Lemos has the better defense rate.

At -325, Weili is a significant favorite, but those odds should be a lot closer. There are two options for this fight, Weili to win by decision at +350 or Lemos to win by KO/TKO at +500.

UFC Bantamweight Championship Main Event

Aljamain Sterling vs. Sean O’Malley

  • Odds to Win: Sterling -260 | O’Malley +205
  • How Will Fight End: KO/TKO +180 | Submission +210 | Decision +130
  • Will the fight go the distance? Yes +164 | No -215

UFC Bantamweight Champion Aljamain “Funk Master” Sterling defends his belt against No. 2 ranked Sean “Suga” O’Malley. Sterling has won nine fights in a row, five of which were title fights. O’Malley is coming off a win over Petr Yan, part of four wins in five fights (and one no-contest).

O’Malley is four inches taller and has a one-inch reach advantage. Sterling has no power in his hands, while Suga averages 1.06 knockdowns per 15 minutes. O’Malley lands much more significant strikes per minute at 7.43 to Sterling’s 4.78. Sterling’s edge is in the grappling, averaging 1.57 more takedowns per minute. O’Malley has the better takedown defense rate at 60 percent.

As much as an O’Malley win would be more exciting, the likely outcome is Sterling taking him down and winning with ground control. Still, it’s more fun to cheer for the knockout. Take O’Malley to win by KO/TKO at +330.

UFC 292: Sterling vs. O’Malley Betting Card
  • Vera by KO/TKO (+470)
  • Weili to win by decision (+350)
  • O’Malley to win by KO/TKO (+330)

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Thumbnail photo via Craig Kidwell-USA TODAY Sports

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