UFC 259 Betting Pick: Aljamain Sterling vs Petr Yan

UFC 259 is this weekend from the rapidly warming desert of Las Vegas and the fight card is bursting at the seams with high level talent including 3 world title fights. The first of which will be for the Bantamweight World Title when Petr Yan defends his belt for the first time against well-deserving challenger, New Yorker, Aljamain Sterling.

A lot of people are torn on this fight and I understand why. Both fighters are at such a high level and neither has fought anyone a lot like each other.

Aljamain Sterling has been in there with Pedro Munhoz, though, and he is a fairly decent comparison I suppose. He is a pressure kickboxer with good wrestling and power. Aljo, though, is kind of an anomaly.

Inch for inch, he is like a Bantamweight Jon Jones sporting nearly 6 feet of reach at just 5’7”. He will have 4 inches of reach against Petr who is also 5’7”. That is obviously a major plus for Aljo. If the two men were 6 feet tall, we would be talking about a 6 inch reach advantage, possibly and that makes a massive difference.

Anyone who tells you they know or even have a strong lean (66% or more) either way is likely talking out of their behind. The betting line is literally a pick’em at (-110) for each fighter.

Let’s take a look at some of the various betting lines available for this fight and potentially land on a round total because picking a winner for this one is more or less flipping a coin. That’s my opinion, at least.

Petr Yan (-110) vs Aljamain Sterling (-110)

We are dead even here with Yan and Aljo. There are several unanswered questions about this one.

Can Aljamain Sterling take down Petr Yan? And if so, can he keep him there? Can he submit him, maybe? He has 4 inches of reach on the Russian, so there is a chance he could outstrike him.

I give the Thailand trained Yan the edge there but the reach difference is going to pose some problems for Yan. Petr is a pressure fighter and that doesn’t look good against an explosive wrestler who can time your forward movement and shoot in deep on your hips.

Whoever wins that front foot battle is going to have the upper hand but both men are so good at what they do, it is very difficult to predict which man will impose their will on the other.

That’s where the round totals come into play and considering the durability of each fighter, the over isn’t looking too bad right now. There are several options for you over at BetOnline.AG but my favorite is the (-130) for the fight to go over 3.5 rounds.

The over 2.5 is (-200) and if that level of juice is your style, this could be the play for you.

It is quite a bit safer but I don’t think either fighter will gas out. If you want even money, you have to play the fight goes to a decision prop.

The Bet
Over 3.5 Rounds

In Conclusion

This should be an incredible night of fights and the scrap for the Bantamweight World Title could be the most entertaining of all. I have always been a big fan of Aljo and we have trained together a few times so it’s really difficult not to have a bias here.

If I am completely honest with myself, though, I don’t believe that anyone out there knows who is going to get the victory.

Please Note:
This is a fight to play the round total and that is exactly what we are doing. You have several options. You can take the fight to go to a decision for even money. Remember, though, that this is a title fight so we are scheduled for the full 25 minutes. I think the sweet spot is the (-130) for the over 3.5.

There are other options and if you guys want to take a shot on a method of victory here, I would most likely make it a decision prop and that goes for both fighters.

Get your bets in now, team!

Mike Pruitt / Author

Mike has been covering sports professionally since 2017 but on the amateur scene for 25 years since when he was 12. Before the internet changed the world, he would keep detailed statistical box scores of NFL and NBA contests, write recaps, and voluntarily commentate games and fights alone in his room. Mike's military experience, Bachelors Degree, and employment thereafter were always rooted in engineering, science, and teaching. Now he enjoys being able to express himself through writing about football, golf, and car racing among other sports but most of all fighting as his life has been rooted in mixed martial arts including competing and teaching for the past 15 years.