UFC

Aljamain Sterling and Sean O’Malley will be the primary attractions at this weekend’s UFC 292 event in Boston’s TD Garden. The contest on Saturday is a cutting-edge master class in grappling against striking.

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UFC 292

The greatest bantamweight in UFC history may now be Sterling. The current champion has the most bantamweight title defenses in promotional history, holds the division record with nine straight victories in the division, and has a record-breaking 14 victories in the weight class. After another successful defense, he now has a tie with TJ Dillashaw for the most titles won at the bantamweight weight class. In terms of total battle time as well as control time, he holds the record.

Don’t let O’Malley’s flamboyant personality draw your attention. “Suga” is the greatest striker in bantamweight history, according to statistics. In terms of strikes landed per minute, considerable striking accuracy, and favorable striking differential, O’Malley now owns the world record.

In the opposite championship contest, Zhang begins his second tenure as champion. After defeating Carla Esparza in the second round in November, the Chinese champion reclaimed the 115-pound crown. The Chinese fighter has been on a tear ever since she narrowly lost to Rose Namajunas in November 2021 and went on to TKO Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Lemos, on the other hand, bounced back from a first-round submission loss to Jessica Andrade in April 2022 by winning two fights by way of submission to close out the year and secure a shot at the title.

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Before we get to our staff choices and predictions for the PPV portion of the festivities, let’s take a closer look at the complete fight program with the most recent With regard to all the events on Saturday night, odds from Caesars Sportsbook.

odds for the UFC 292 fight event from Caesars Sportsbook

Bantamweight championship match: Aljamain Sterling (c) -250 vs. Sean O’Malley (+205)

Amanda Lemos (+250) vs. Zhang Weili (c), women’s strawweight championship

Neil Magny (+370) vs. Ian Machado Garry (-490), welterweights

Bantamweights Mario Bautista -220 vs. Da’Mon Blackshear +180

Pedro Munhoz (+177) vs. Marlon Vera (-200), bantamweights

Middleweights Brad Tavares (-270) vs. Chris Weidman (+220)

Middleweights Gregory Rodrigues (-350) vs. Denis Tiuliulin (+275)

Kurt Holobaugh (+150) vs. Austin Hubbard, lightweights

Cody Gibson (+145) vs. Brad Katona (-170), bantamweight

Gerald Meerschaert (+200) and Andre Petroski, middleweights

Women’s flyweights: Andrea Lee +260 vs. Natalia Silva -330

Women’s flyweights: Maryna Moroz +125 vs. Karine Silva -150

The CBS Sports staff provided predictions and picks for the main card due to the significance of the approaching main event. Your pick makers are listed below: Senior editor Brandon Wise, combat sports writer Brent Brookhouse, and combat sports writer and “Morning Kombat” co-host Brian Campbell are all writers in addition to Shakiel Mahjouri.

O’Malley Campbell vs. Sterling

Sterling, one of the most successful bantamweight champions in UFC history, is currently getting the recognition he deserves. Despite all the accolades for Sterling’s excellent ground game, his superior fight acumen and composure have been the actual keys to his success. The figures also show that Sterling is the worst potential opponent for O’Malley’s deft attacking style.

The equation would be much different if O’Malley could manage to avoid leaning on him.But Henry Cejudo, a former Olympic gold medalist, was just defeated four times by Sterling, who has an intensely challenging fighting style.Sterling’s detractors once said that he would prevail if the fight were conducted according to his terms. However, the champion has substantially altered and is still the actual betting favorite despite the enthusiastic but restrained rising star.

Mahjouri: Someone will eventually discover a way to undermine Sterling’s approach. I’m not certain, but this Saturday might not be the right time. O’Malley has a lot going for him, like accurate and powerful assaults, a high IQ, and a crafty camp behind him. Despite the fact that Henry Cejudo, an Olympic gold medalist wrestler, was taken down four times by Sterling, it is still conceivable for him to snag Sterling early or withstand enough takedowns to set up his own strategy.

Behind Sterling are the outstanding crew at Serra-Longo and Xtreme Couture. I’ll choose the champion to wear down O’Malley with suffocating grappling and back control despite the fact that he entered the fight with ailments since he is at the height of his athleticism. The greatest bantamweight champion in UFC history made one final victorious title defense.

Zhang vs. Lemos in UFC 292

Aside from Lemos’ punching power, the 36-year-old Brazilian challenger may have a very difficult night. Zhang’s entire performance, particularly in the area of wrestling, has substantially improved after she lost two title matches to Rose Namajunas in 2021.

At the age of 34, Zhang may be claimed to be the best female fighter in the sport right now, pound for pound. Being a veteran of five UFC title fights, including two that lasted the full five rounds, she also has the edge of experience.Zhang has the ability to manipulate Lemos,who should not be taken lightly.

Mahjouri: Lemos hasn’t proven she has what it takes to win at the top division of women’s strawweight. The fact that Jessica Andrade went on to lose three fights in a row a year after Lemos’ loss to her is not disgraceful, but it raises doubts about Lemos’ chances of unseating the champion. Zhang has raised her game, giving her an even greater threat. She is a tremendous force.

In terms of statistics, Zhang outperforms the challenger by landing more punches, taking less damage, and averaging more takedowns.When you add that to Lemos’ prior experience battling against elite opposition, it’s challenging to see how she succeeds without an unanticipated interruption.

Garry vs. Magny in UFC

Campbell: Similar to Conor McGregor’s game-changing submission win over Dennis Siver in 2015, where he then scaled the Octagon wall to face champion Jose Aldo in the stands, another hot Irish prospect has the chance to become a household name with a significant victory in Boston.

Garry, 25, appears to be the real deal after knocking out Daniel Rodriguez in the first round in May, dispelling any doubts he may have had. Despite the fact that Geoff Neal withdrew for unspecified medical reasons, it seems like this test against Magny, a great gatekeeper, came up at the perfect time.Magny hasn’t lost to strikes since 2017, but he’s stingy and flexible enough to put Garry to the test in some situations.

However, if the hype is true, Garry can still find a way to dazzle and have his own Beantown moment if he doesn’t pose a significant enough threat.

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