Yan vs Sterling Picks and Predictions

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Updated: March 2, 2021

Petr Yan will make his first bantamweight title defense against Aljamain Sterling, one of three title fights on the UFC 259 card.

Photo By – USA TODAY Sports

Petr Yan vs. Aljamain Sterling is the first of three title fights on the UFC 259 betting card on March 6. 

This should be a terrific bantamweight battle between opposing styles, with Yan’s high-end striking facing off against Sterling’s elite wrestling. Oddsmakers are expecting a very close battle with UFC betting lines having this fight as a pick’em. 

Here are our best Yan vs. Sterling picks and predictions for UFC 259 on Saturday, March 6 from the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.

Yan vs Sterling fight odds

Method of Victory Petr Yan Aljamain Sterling
Win Outright -110 -110
Win by KO/TKO +290 +650
Win by Points +270 +360
Win by Submission +1,600 +340
Draw +5,000 +5,000

Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook

Yan vs Sterling betting preview

Petr Yan is making his first defense of the bantamweight championship after a dominating win against Jose Aldo last July. Yan claimed the vacant title after pounding on the former featherweight champ for five rounds, before the ref finally waved the fight off.

Yan is 15-1 in his career, including a perfect 7-0 since joining the UFC in 2018. The 28-year-old is one of the UFC’s rising stars and has the best boxing in the promotion, with extremely polished footwork, crisp combos and power in his hands.

Covers UFC 259 Betting Analysis

Aljamain “Funk Master” Sterling comes into UFC 259 on a five-fight winning streak, most recently winning with a first-round submission over No. 2 contender Cory Sandhagen last summer. The 31-year-old is now 19-3 in his MMA career, with two of those losses coming by way of split decision. 

The Funk Master is long and athletic with terrific wrestling and slick submission skills. However, he has also improved on his feet, out striking Top-10 ranked bantamweights Pedro Munhoz and Jimmie Rivera in recent fights. 

Yan vs Sterling tale of the tape

Petr Yan   Aljamain Sterling
28 Age 31
5-foot-7 Height 5-foot-7
135 lbs Weight 135 lbs
67 inches Reach 71 inches
15-1-0 (7 KO) Record 19-3-0 (2 KO)

Yan vs Sterling UFC prediction and betting pick

PREDICTION: Yan to win -110 – Sterling knows his path to victory in this matchup, tweeting, “I just need one takedown. Fathers plan,” a reference to Khabib Nurmagomedov’s style of relentless wrestling. But that will be easier said than done for Aljo, who has a modest takedown accuracy of 29 percent. Yan is a well-rounded fighter with decent wrestling of his own and he owns an impressive 88 percent takedown defense.

While Yan’s lone career defeat came against a wrestling-heavy fighter in Magomed Magomedov, he avenged that split decision loss with a victory 13 months later and has evolved in the five years since then. While Magomedov isn’t a household name, he’s a quality fighter that could soon challenge for a title in Bellator. 

If Yan can keep most of this fight standing up, he should be able to punish Sterling’s aggressive striking, which tends to leave the challenger open for counters. With Yan averaging a whopping 5.65 significant strikes per minute, look for his boxing and Muay Thai to overwhelm Aljo. 

PREDICTION: Yan to win by KO/TKO +290 – Sterling might be known for his grappling and wrestling ability, but he’s also a volume striker that likes to attack from a variety of angles. That said, Sterling’s high-pressure style could play right into the powerful hands of Yan. 

Yan has the footwork and movement to defuse Sterling’s attacks while cutting off angles and walking him down against the cage. From there, “No Mercy” should be able to load up on his strikes. 

Likewise, if Sterling tries to go for the clinch he will be susceptible to Yan’s power shots, both when engaging and exiting. With five of Yan’s last eight wins coming via knockout, consider backing that prop at +290.

PREDICTION: Fight to start Round 5 No -118 – Many bantamweights lack stopping power, but these two aren’t your average fighters in the 135-pound class. Both are high-pressure fighters who like to throw and both are coming off finishes.

With how active and fast both Yan and Sterling are, I simply can’t see them going at it for more than 20 minutes, especially in the smaller Apex octagon.    

Where can I bet on UFC odds?

Most online sportsbooks and casinos offer bets on UFC odds and props. While odds to win usually come out as soon as a fight is announced, prop bets become more readily available closer to an event. Check out the best sportsbooks available where you live and see what UFC bets they have available.


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