UFC: Aljamain Sterling heads into UFC 292 with a slight edge over Sean O’Malley

News - Boxing
UFC: Aljamain Sterling heads into UFC 292 with a slight edge over Sean O’Malley

The UFC bantamweight title was defended at UFC 288 on May 6 when Aljamain Sterling defeated former champion Henry Cejudo. The championship will be back on the line at UFC 292 when Sterling defends against Sean O’Malley. The sportsbooks are favouring Sterling to win his fifth consecutive title fight. This is O’Malley’s first shot at a championship in the UFC. On paper, this is a tough fight to call because both men have a clear advantage over the other, Sterling’s wrestling and O’Malley’s power. 

Quick Take

  • Aljamain Sterling the betting faovurite
  • Sean O’Malley’s first title shot
  • Battle of styles

The Fight details

Aljamain Sterling will fight Sean O’Malley for the UFC’s bantamweight championship at UFC 292 on August 19 in Boston. Sterling is the betting favourite heading into the fight. He has -278 odds to win the bout on BetMGM. O’Malley is the underdog at +220 odds on UFC betting sites. This is a fight between one of the most well-rounded bantamweights in Sterling and one of the hardest hitters in the division in O’Malley.

Sterling has proven he can win fights in a multitude of ways, whether that be submission, decision, or KO/TKO. O’Malley on the other hand has consistently found a way to end fights with his striking. Five of O’Malley’s six recent victories were by KO/TKO. The style difference gives both men a clear path to victory.

Aljamain “Funk Master” Sterling

Sterling is coming off arguably the biggest win of his UFC career. He defeated former bantamweight and flyweight champion Henry Cejudo by split decision at UFC 288. Sterling was the slight underdog in that fight. Sterling is the betting favourite in this one, his fourth bantamweight title defense. He is ranked at six on the UFC’s pound for pound rankings list, one spot behind middleweight champion Israel Adesanya.

Sterling has a lot of tools that will help him win this fight, but his wrestling could be one of the biggest factors in this fight. O’Malley has not often been forced to wrestle often in his recent fights, but he showed some ability to wrestle in his fight against former interim champion Petr Yan. If Sterling can consistently land takedowns on O’Malley throughout the fight, O’Malley’s only path to victory is via KO/TKO. Although Sterling is listed at 5 '7, four inches shorter than his opponent, he only has a one inch reach disadvantage, according to UFC.com.

Sean “Sugar” O’Malley

Sean O’Malley is the underdog heading into his first UFC title fight. This will also be his first five round fight in the UFC. O’Malley has +220 odds to win the fight on BetMGM. He is the number two ranked bantamweight in the UFC and has a 16-1 professional MMA record. On top of being one of the most entertaining and creative fighters the UFC has to offer, O’Malley has vicious power in his hands and feet. Since 2020 all of his victories, except his last fight, were by KO/TKO.

O’Malley’s knockouts against Eddie Wineland, Thomas Almeida, and Raulian Paiva showed that he has enough power to knock out almost anyone in the bantamweight division, including Sterling. O’Malley has a lot of tools that will give him a great shot in this fight. He is versatile, creative, fast, and has serious knockout power. One of the biggest concerns about O’Malley in this fight is he has not stepped into the octagon with many fighters ranked in the top 10. His last fight was against the number one ranked bantamweight at the time, Petr Yan, but he has no victories over another currently ranked bantamweight. Sterling has five victories over current ranked bantamweights. If O’Malley is victorious, he will most likely win by KO/TKO or decision. He has zero submission wins in the UFC.

The rest of the 292 card



[C] Zhang Weili vs Amanda Lemos

Women’s Strawweight

#6 Marlon Vera vs #10 Pedro Munhoz

Bantamweight Bout

#8 Geoff Neal vs #13 Ian Machado Garry

Welterweight Bout

Cody Garbrandt vs Mario Bautista

Bantamweight Bout

Chris Weidman vs Brad Tavares

Middleweight Bout

Andre Petroski vs Gerald Meerschaert

Middleweight Bout

#13 Andrea Lee vs Natalia Silva

Women’s flyweight Bout

Gregory Rodrigues vs Denis Tiuliulin

Middleweight Bout

Karine Silva vs Maryna Moroz

Women’s flyweight Bout