UFC 292 Sterling vs O’Malley Fight Picks & Odds: Champ’s Grappling Pays Off

Devon Platana

Written by: Devon Platana

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UFC 292 Sterling vs O’Malley Fight Picks & Odds: Champ’s Grappling Pays Off cover


UFC 292 is shaping up to be an action-packed night, highlight by a pair of championship bouts. The bigger of the two title fights takes place in the main event of the evening when Aljamain Sterling looks to defend the bantamweight gold against the ever-hungry Sean O’Malley.

It’s no secret that fans are salivating at the idea of this massive bout. Sterling hasn’t lost a fight in nearly six years while O’Malley has tasted defeat just once during his impressive career. One of those runs will come to an end this weekend, further upping the headlining bout’s stakes.

Here’s a look at Betting News’ Sterling vs. O’Malley fight preview, including BetOnline’s latest odds and our expert analysis of the best bets.

Sterling vs O’Malley Tale of the Tape

Aljamain Sterling — Sean O’Malley

  • Record: 23-3 — 16-1, 1NC
  • Height: 5’7” — 5’11”
  • Reach: 71” — 72”
  • Weight: 135 lbs — 135 lbs
  • Age: 34 — 28
  • Fighting Stance: Orthodox — Switch
  • Knockouts: 3 — 11

Sterling vs O’Malley Odds (as of Wednesday, August 14 at 11:03 a.m. via BetOnline)


  • Aljamain Sterling -260
  • Sean O’Malley +220

Will the Fight Go the Distance?

  • Yes — TBD
  • No — TBD

Round Total

  • Over 4.5 Rounds (+150)
  • Under 4.5 Rounds (-180)

Sterling vs O’Malley Fight Preview

As impressive as O’Malley has been, BetOnline is fully backing Sterling to be victorious at UFC 292. His -260 moneyline odds carry an implied win probability of 72.2%, meaning it’s more than likely that he’ll tally another successful title defense.

Sterling has been one of the UFC’s most dominant forces since 2018, having won his last nine fights. He’s displayed the ability to get the job done in different ways during that span, winning five times by decision, twice by submission, and another time by TKO.

“Funk Master” last fought in May when he defended his gold against Henry Cejudo at UFC 288. The fight went to the full five-round limit, ending with Sterling standing tall with a split-decision win.

As great as Sterling has been, it isn’t like O’Malley is some kind of slouch off the streets.

The Helena, Montana native has been a joy to watch ever since making his UFC debut in 2017. He’s gone 9-1 with one no-contest in 11 fights since joining the top promotion, knocking out six opponents along the way while earning ‘performance of the night’ honors four times.

While O’Malley has never held gold before, he does have experience beating a former UFC Bantamweight Champion. The 28-year-old outlasted Petr Yan, winning by split decision in what was deemed the ‘fight of the night’ at UFC 280.

O’Malley also has the striking advantage in this fight, averaging more significant strikes per minute (7.43) with better accuracy (60%) than Sterling (4.78 and 52%, respectively).

At the same time, the defending champion is the better grappler. On top of his eight career submission wins, Sterling averages 2.02 takedowns and 0.8 submissions per 15 minutes. O’Malley does have a 60% takedown defense rate, but time will tell how he handles the five-round contest.

UFC 292: Sterling vs O’Malley Betting Trends and Markets

At the time of writing, BetOnline’s Sterling vs. O’Malley betting options are limited. Fortunately, other sportsbooks like Bovada do have other markets that help shed some light as to how the UFC 292 main event could unfold.

For example, Bovada expects to see a finish by favoring that the fight won’t go the distance at -175 odds.

It isn’t too surprising to see that oddsmakers don’t expect this fight to go all five rounds. Only one of O’Malley’s last eight fights went the distance while three of Sterling’s last five failed to reach the round limit.

Can Sean O’Malley (left) take Aljamain Sterling to the limit at UFC 292?

What’s interesting is that even though a shorter fight is favored, Bovada predicts that Sterling will beat O’Malley by points at +165 odds. The champion is 11-2 when his fights end with some form of decision and is 7-0 in his last five outings that went the distance.

If the fight is over before the end of Round 5, Sterling is most likely to win by submission (+250). Eight of his 23 all-time victories came via submission, however, he’s now faced with the challenge of trying to be the first person to submit O’Malley.

For those trying to predict when the fight will end, Bovada is favoring Sterling to be victorious in the opening round (+550). While he’s accomplished a lot over his 12-year career, he’s only ended four fights in the first round.

UFC 292: Sterling vs O’Malley Fight Picks & Prediction

I predict that Sterling will notch another successful defense at UFC 292. Although O’Malley is a terrific striker, the favorite has solid striking defense and knows how to avoid getting finished. Sterling’s grappling/submission expertise also gives him a huge advantage the longer the fight goes on.

As for the best bet, let’s go with a Sterling submission victory (+250 on Bovada). O’Malley’s wrestling isn’t good enough to deal with Sterling’s holds, especially if the latter scores some early takedowns. The champion will try to break the challenger down from the momentum the fight opens and it’ll only be a matter of time before O’Malley succumbs to Sterling’s submission arsenal.


When is UFC 292?

UFC 292 will take place on Saturday, August 19, 2023.

Where is UFC 292?

UFC 292 will take place at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.

What time does UFC 292 start?

  • UFC 292 Early Prelims Start Time: 6 p.m. ET
  • UFC 292 Preliminary Card Start Time: 8 p.m. ET
  • Start Time of UFC 292’s Main Card: 10 p.m. ET

How can I watch UFC 292?

The UFC 292 early prelims can be viewed on ESPN+ before the preliminary card is broadcasted on both ESPN and ESPN+. The main card can then be viewed on ESPN+ or your local PPV providers.

How can I bet on UFC 292?

All of the top online sports betting sites will have UFC 292 odds, but here are some of the sites we recommend most for MMA betting enthusiasts.

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Devon Platana
Devon Platana

Devon is a Master of Journalism graduate who joined the sports betting world in 2020. His favorite leagues to cover are the NHL, NBA and NFL, and has a soft spot for fantasy football specifically. Outside of sports, he enjoys the finer things in life like pasta, live music and getting even more tattoos.

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