UFC 259: Petr Yan vs Aljamain Sterling Bet by AJ’s Bets

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Event: UFC 259 (March 6th)

Bet: 2 units @ +115 Aljamain Sterling to win versus Petr Yan

  • Add-on 0.5 units at +120 on Sterling to win

The implied odds I made for this fight are -150/60% Aljamain Sterling to win.

Quick thoughts:

I understand Yan being the favorite. He is the champion, and we very often see the champion favored in title fights. Not only that, but Yan is an excellent fighter overall that is very well rounded. That said, I believe stylistically this is a favorable matchup for the challenger Aljamain Sterling.


They’re both excellent grapplers overall with a tremendous ability to scramble, so I don’t really see this facet of the fight as all too compelling. That said, I do favor Aljamain here. He is the far more dangerous submission grappler (i.e., excellent ability to take the back of the opposition, BJJ Black Belt under Matt Serra, has a threatening guard, and multiple wins via submission). I also see Aljamain as the stronger fighter in the clinch.


Firstly Yan is an excellent striker, but there are areas of his striking Aljamain can capitalize on. Aljamain moves much more on the feet, making him a less hittable target of the two. Yan is fairly stationary. As a result, we’ve seen fighters have moderate success landing on Yan (i.e., rounds 2 and 3 against Aldo, was getting tagged repeatedly by Rivera, knocked down by Dodson). In contrast, Aljamain is very long for the weight class and has excellent distance management, making him a tough target to land on (i.e., he absorbs 1.94 significant strikes per minute per ufcstats.com).

While the two are at a distance, Aljamain can win very comfortably. Aljamain fights very well at range while utilizing various tools (i.e., front kick, low kick, body kick, head kick, and straight punches). Additionally, he will also hold a 4-inch reach advantage here, so I trust him to land at the kicking range more frequently than Yan.

They both have shown a willingness to throw low kicks in the past, but Aljamain is more persistent with throwing them, and Yan has shown to be more susceptible to them of the two (i.e., was hurt by Aldo and Rivera).

Another thing is the pace they each push. The stats don’t back this up so much, but the eye does when the two are in open space. Yan has shown the tendency to be passive for stretches in several previous fights, whereas Sterling will constantly throw volume with his varied tools. Lastly, each fought Jimmie Rivera, and the results were very different. Sterling very clearly won the fight (i.e., outstruck Rivera 101 to 24 in significant strikes and was in control the entirety of the fight). In contrast, Yan had a much more difficult time (i.e., was outstruck by Rivera 73 to 56).

All in all, it’s generally tough to bet against Petr Yan, who is the current champion of this weight class and a tremendous, well-rounded fighter. However, Sterling is the toughest fight for him right now and likely wins this fight.

TLDR: I am betting Aljamain Sterling here because I favor his grappling advantage (secondary) and his striking advantage (primarily).

Written by AJS BETS

Pro MMA Bettor. Your Go-To Source For All Things #MMA. Handicapper for MMAOddsBreaker

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