Aljamain Sterling vs. Sean O'Malley - Odds, Tips & Predictions for UFC 292

sterling vs o'malley ufc 292 match up
Published by NYSB Staff
Last Updated: 08. Aug 2023.

UFC Bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling will square off against #2-ranked Sean O'Malley in an intriguing title matchup on Saturday, August 19. The five-round bout will take place at the TD Garden Arena in Boston, Massachusetts.

Sterling (23-3-0) is coming off a split-decision victory over Henry Cejudo in a hard-fought contest at UFC 288. The 135-pound titleholder has reeled off nine straight wins since 2017 and is arguably the best bantamweight in the world.

O'Malley (16-1-0) earned a controversial split decision win against former bantamweight champion Petr Yan at UFC 280 in Abu Dhabi. The hard-hitting striker has gone unbeaten in his past four bouts. 

Aljamain Sterling vs. Sean O'Malley Odds

Sterling (-275) is the betting favorite to retain his title against O'Malley (+220), per BetMGM New York sportsbook. The underappreciated Bantamweight champion is an elite grappler and will look to dominate the fight on the mat. However, O'Malley is a potent striker looking to land a knockout punch.

Aljamain Sterling vs. Sean O'Malley Betting Predictions

Sterling has become the measuring stick for the division since capturing the title over Yan in 2021. The 33-year-old is a savvy veteran who has recorded 52% of his wins via decision and 35% by submission—the New York native averages 2.02 takedowns per 15 minutes compared to 0.45 by O'Malley.

"The Funk Master" lands an unimpressive 4.78 significant strikes per minute while absorbing 2.37 strikes. Despite Sterling being one of the sport's top grapplers, O'Malley has a higher takedown average of 42% to 24% since he attempts significantly fewer takedowns.

The reigning champion is confident he can dispose of O'Malley but is unhappy with the quick turnaround after his win over Cejudo in May. Sterling has suffered past neck and biceps injuries and won't be 100% healthy heading into his fourth title defense.

"People don't understand how much time I actually put into this sport," Sterling said on his podcast. "Sometimes you could get a little burned out. Sometimes that can take a lot out of you mentally. That's why, after this fight, I had so many things with Henry, so many things planned out that I just wanted to decompress and stop thinking about fighting for once because I do so much to get to the fight and prep myself to get ready for battle mentally.

"I'm going to fight, even though it's literally against my will. People can say whatever – if Dana (White) were to hear this, Hunter (Campbell) were to hear this, they would say, 'We're not making him do anything.' Let's be real here, bro. Come on, dude. You kind of are. Let's call a spade a spade."

"Sugar" has won 73% of his fights via knockout while winning 20% by decision. A dangerous knockout artist, O'Malley averages 1.06 knockdowns per 15 minutes and lands an impressive 7.43 significant strikes per minute.

The 28-year-old has gone the distance in only three fights during his time in the UFC and feels confident he can win the title with one punch.

I'm going to do what I do," O'Malley said at a media scrum backstage at UFC 290. "It's no secret this is a striker vs. grappler matchup. That's it. I'm going to go out there and try to put his lights out. I do that every time I fight. Has there been anybody that's hurt Petr Yan? Anyone that's been able to catch him? Crack him? I dropped him to a knee in the second round.

"I can find people's chins. I do find people's chins. I built a career off knocking people out in the first round. He cuts a lot of weight, and when you cut a lot of weight, that brain liquid goes away, it doesn't take many shots. It can take one shot right on the chin to put him down, and I know I'm capable of that, so that's how I see it going down."

More than a few UFC fans believe that O'Malley's split decision win over Yan was a blatant robbery by two judges, and I agree. Sterling will not be at his best but should still beat the one-dimensional striker.

Betting Pick: Aljamain Sterling 

Aljamain Sterling vs. Sean O'Malley Betting Tips

The most popular bet type for this UFC fight is the moneyline, betting on who will win the fight outright.

Our pick for those into UFC betting is Sterling, given his championship pedigree and superior grappling skills. A $100 wager on Sterling at odds of -275 would net a profit of approximately $36.36, for a total payout of $136.36.

The Over/Under bet is another popular type, where you wager on the number of rounds the fight will last. Given Sterling's ability to submit opponents and O'Malley's knockout power, this fight will probably not go five rounds.

Given O'Malley's comments that "it can take one shot right on the chin to put him down, and I know I'm capable of that" and the fact that Sterling will be the best fighter O'Malley has faced in his UFC career, we could speculate a short contest that ends early. Therefore, we might lean toward betting on Under 3.5 rounds, expecting the fight to finish in the third or possibly earlier round.

When and Where is the Aljamain Sterling vs. Sean O'Malley Fight?

Aljamain Sterling will defend his Bantamweight title against rising star Sean O'Malley at UFC 292. The five-round championship bout is slated for Saturday, August 19, at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. UFC fans in New York can watch the fight live on ESPN+ PPV.


Bookmakers have made the champion, Aljamain Sterling, a convincing favorite to defeat #2-ranked Sean O'Malley when they clash in the main event at TD Garden Arena in Boston. Sterling is a -275 betting favorite, while O'Malley is the +220 underdog, per BetMGM.

The co-main event will be a UFC Women's Strawweight Championship bout between current two-time champion Zhang Weili and #4 Amanda Lemos. #6 Marlon Vera and #10 Pedro Munhoz will battle in a Bantamweight clash, while #8 Geoff Neal faces #13 Ian Machado Garry in a Welterweight matchup. 

Other fights include Cody Garbrandt vs. Mario Bautista (Bantamweight), Chris Weidman vs. Brad Tavares (Middleweight), Andre Petroski vs. Gerald Meerschaert (Middleweight), #13 Andrea Lee vs. Natália Silva (Women's Flyweight), Gregory Rodrigues vs. Dennis Tiuliulin (Middleweight), and Karine Silva vs. Maryna Moroz (Women's Flyweight).    

Mixed martial arts fans can place bets during the fight with live UFC odds that are constantly updated based on the real action inside the Octagon. The most popular types of in-play wagers offered include moneyline bets on the predicted winner, the method of victory, and how long the fight will last.

BetMGM and PoinsBet are two well-known and trusted New York sportsbook where UFC fans can bet on this Bantamweight Championship bout.

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