UFC 292: Sterling vs. O’Malley Fight Card, Predictions, & Odds

min read
Aljamain Sterling, of Jamaica, kicks Henry Cejudo during the fifth round of a bantamweight title bout at the UFC 288.
(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Anatoly Pimentel @AnatolyPimentel Aug 15, 2023, 4:27 PM
  • Aljamain Sterling and Sean O’Malley headline UFC 292 for the UFC Bantamweight World title.
  • Aljamain Sterling is the betting favorite at -275.
  • Sean O’Malley is the betting underdog at +210.

The UFC Bantamweight title will be on the line this Saturday, Aug. 19, inside TD Garden in Boston, as reigning and defending bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling (23-3) will try  to fend off the challenge from No. 2-ranked contender Sean O’Malley (16-1). 

Both are riding their respective winning streaks, but Sterling is the betting favorite in UFC odds over O’Malley, who comes in as the betting underdog at +210. 

Apart from the longer winning streak at nine, Sterling is the favorite to win because of his extensive experience fighting the top names in the division for almost a decade, while O’Malley has only been in the UFC for six years and only a four-fight winning streak.

Aljamain Sterling Recent Fight Results

Aljamain Sterling made his UFC debut in February 2014 and immediately picked up four straight wins, including three stoppages. That streak was snapped by back-to-back split decision losses from Bryan Caraway and Raphael Assuncao, but the “Funk Master” bounced back with unanimous decision victories over Augusto Mendes and Renan Barao.

Before putting together a nine-fight winning streak, the 34-year-old received another defeat at the hands of Marlon Moraes in December 2017 via first-round knockout. Since then, Sterling defeated the likes of Pedro Munhoz, Cory Sandhagen, Petr Yan (twice), T.J. Dillashaw, and Henry Cejudo to become the undisputed king of the 135-pound division.

Sean O’Malley Recent Fight Results

Sean O’Malley navigated his way to the UFC through Season 1, Week 2 of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series in July 2017 when he scored a walk-off knockout of Alfred Khashakyan in the opening round of their bantamweight bout to earn an outright contract under the Las Vegas-based promotion.

Since then, “Sugar Sean” has won eight of his 10 UFC fights, including eight TKO/KOs, with his lone loss courtesy of Marlon Vera in August 2020 and a no-contest result against Munhoz in July 2022. O’Malley’s biggest career victory so far is his split decision win over former champion Yan in October 2022 to book his shot for the title officially.

Aljamain Sterling vs. Sean O’Malley: Tale of the Tape

Aljamain SterlingSean O’Malley
Reach71 inches72 inches
Leg Reach39 inches40 inches
Fighting StyleBrazilian Jiu-JitsuStriker
Finishing Rate56%75%

Aljamain Sterling vs. Sean O’Malley: Fight Analysis

The tale of the tape of this upcoming bantamweight title fight between Sterling and O’Malley favors the challenger, as he is four inches taller at 5-foot-11 (against Sterling, who’s 5-foot-7) and has an inch advantage in reach and leg reach at 72 inches and 40 inches (compared to Sterling’s 71 inches and 39 inches). Additionally, O’Malley is four years younger (28) than Sterling (34).

Stylistically, it’s a contrasting style of a grappler and a striker, as the “Funk Master” has a tremendous Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu background with a black belt rank, while “Sugar Sean” boasts a striking base fighting style. Their method of victory is solid evidence of this clash of style, with Sterling winning 35% of his fights via submission and O’Malley’s 73% of wins were TKO/KOs.

Another proof is their significant strikes and grappling numbers. O’Malley leads the significant strike statistics with 7.43 significant strikes landed per minute (60% rate) versus Sterling’s 4.78 (52% rate) and 3.54 absorbed per minute (64% rate) compared to Sterling’s 2.37 (58% rate). However, Sterling has superior numbers in the grappling department.

Sterling flexes 2.02 takedown average per 15 minutes and 0.80 submission average per 15 minutes over O’Malley’s 0.45 takedown average per 15 minutes and 0.45 submission average per 15 minutes. The challenger, though, has the better number in takedown accuracy and takedown defense, with 42% and 60%, respectively, against the defending champion’s 24% and 45%.

The obvious advantage in the striking department goes to O’Malley, but the clear advantage in grappling is on Sterling, which is why this championship showdown is an intriguing fight. Expect a chess match and feel-out process in the fight’s opening moments, but once they get in their zone and rhythm, it will be off to the races.

Sterling will immediately look for a takedown to maneuver his way into a possible submission and tire out the challenger with his relentless ground and pound. On the other hand, O’Malley would love to land his signature combination through his punches and put the defending champion in trouble early in the fight.

One significant factor to look out for is Sterling’s fight night weight, as he is notorious for putting on a ton of mass when competing. This added weight helps him to grind out and bully his opponents in the grappling exchanges, and once he gets a hold off of his opponents, it’s almost an automatic takedown. As soon as a takedown is secured, Sterling works his way into multiple submission attempts.

Official Prediction: Submission victory for Aljamain Sterling.

See the entire UFC 292: Sterling vs. O’Malley odds and wagers here.

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About the Author

Anatoly Pimentel

Read More @AnatolyPimentel

Anatoly Pimentel is an NBA and MMA writer previously featured in ASEAN Sports, Asian Persuasion MMA, and Overtime Heroics MMA. He graduated from Adamson University with a B.A in Communication and is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM.

Anatoly Pimentel is an NBA and MMA writer previously featured in ASEAN Sports, Asian Persuasion MMA, and Overtime Heroics MMA. He graduated from Adamson University with a B.A in Communication and is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM.