UFC 292 Best Bets & Predictions: Sterling vs O’Malley & Zhang vs Lemos

The UFC 292 main event starts at 10:00pm EST with a fight in the men’s bantamweight division between Aljamain Sterling and Sean O’Malley for the bantamweight championship. Sterling is currently favored at -258 on the moneyline with a -5.5 point spread at -145 odds. Read on for more UFC 292 predictions and best bets for both this fight and the co-main event of Zhang Weili vs Amanda Lemos.

UFC 292 Best Bets

One of the UFC’s most entertaining fighters makes his return as Sean O’Malley looks to capture gold against the well-rounded Aljamain Sterling. O’Malley’s rise is surrounded by controversy after his two previous fights and it’s no secret that the UFC has made it their mission to push him into the spotlight. While markets have him outmatched, his knockout power can put Sterling away at a moment’s notice. Zhang Weili also puts her belt on the line for the first time since winning it back, taking on the feisty Amanda Lemos in what will be a thrilling co-main event title fight. For the rest of the main card’s breakdown, you can read it here.

Aljamain Sterling Vs. Sean O’Malley

Sean O’Malley isn’t the only one who’s recent run has been surrounded by intrigue as Aljamain Sterling kick started his championship run with a questionable DQ victory against Petr Yan. Credit to the “Funk Master” as he has capitalized on that initial championship win as he has since gone on a three-fight win streak with two split decisions over Petr Yan and Henry Cejudo as well as a KO/TKO victory over TJ Dillashaw.

Many speculated that Sterling’s run would be short lived after a disappointing start to his run, yet he has answered the bell since acquiring the gold. He has backed his success on his well-rounded fighting style, being able to both stand up against strikers as well as grapple on the ground for much needed control time.

While he doesn’t average nearly the same number of significant strikes landed per minute that O’Malley does, his accuracy numbers are eerily similar. Sterling averages 4.78 SSLPM at 61.32% while O’Malley averages 7.43 at 61.29%. That indicates Sterling serves as a more defensive fighter, relying on counter strikes as O’Malley looks to press on from the opening bell.

Knowing that Sterling may be outmatched when on their feet as O’Malley is one of the better strikers in the UFC, we may see him opt into the idea of taking this to the ground as early as possible. That’s where Sterling has a massive advantage in this fight as O’Malley has struggled at times in limiting opposing transitions and breaking out of guard. Simply put, Sterling should be in full control when this hits the mat.

While grappling is usually correlated to a fight going the distance, it’s hard to ignore the idea that Sterling will have plenty of opportunities to impose his will with an onslaught of ground and pound strikes or hunt for a submission opportunity as the superior grappler. His moneyline may be enticing as the public will back O’Malley as the ultra-popular fighter, yet the fight to not go the distance prop serves as a better option as it ties in the possibility of O’Malley knocking the champ out when they are on their feet.

Pick: Fight does not go the distance

Zhang Weili Vs. Amanda Lemos

After two crushing losses to Rose Namajunas as the women’s strawweight champion, Zhang Weili recaptured her gold belt by submitting then champion Carla Esparza. She now makes her first title defense against the dangerous Amanda Lemos in what will be a clash of two elite strikers in the co-main event.

Zhang comes in as the heavy favorite per betting markets and deserves every bit of it as she is in a class of her own over Amanda Lemos. While she’s known for her Muay Thai, it was refreshing to see her get the submission victory in her last contest as she rounds out as an all-around skilled fighter.

While Lemos is capable of standing up with the best of them, she will be in constant danger as Zhang negates her reach advantage by stepping in close and unleashing devastating combinations in clinch range. This will keep Lemos constantly reeling, struggling to keep her distance while also fending off takedowns.

With Zhang looking to close the gap in an effort to establish her style of striking, take her to win inside the distance. Lemos will be thrusted into uncomfortable positions and left vulnerable with her back pressed on the cage as she tries to defend against Zhang’s powerful striking.

Pick: Zhang Weili to win inside the distance

UFC 292 Sportsbook Promo Codes

Kody is a sports betting writer here at Lineups. He specializes in college sports as well as the NFL and NBA. He won’t quit believing in the Lions Super Bowl chances even when they are eliminated.

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