Aljamain Sterling-Sean O’Malley, Zhang Weili-Amanda Lemos Updates, Highlights, Analysis

Estimated read time 4 min read

Aljamain Sterling’s UFC bantamweight reign began as a point of contention for those who didn’t view him as a legitimate champion. Sterling himself was disappointed with the way he won the belt after then-champion Peter Yan landed an illegal knee on him and was disqualified during their title fight at UFC 259 on March 6, 2021.

Now, ahead of Sterling’s title defense on Saturday against Sean O’Malley at UFC 292 at Boston’s TD Garden, the “Funk Master” must be more than happy with his championship resume. And fans who aren’t just haters. Since Sterling didn’t just go on to beat Yan in a rematch, he now racked up enough wins to be considered by some – including respected UFC broadcaster Jon Anik – as the Goat Goat.

A loss on Saturday will of course put that legendary title into question, but there is no doubt that Sterling is one of the best guys to ever make it in the UFC’s 135-pound division. And the odds-makers see no loss in Sterling’s immediate future, as he is currently a -250 favorite in BetMGM to defeat No. 2 O’Malley, who is a +200 underdog in Saturday’s main event.

Unfortunately for those who enjoy watching fighters compete at the top of their respective league for years on end, Sterling’s victory on Saturday will likely mark the end of his featherweight career as he sets his sights on moving up to featherweight. Sterling said he’s over 135 pounds and is struggling to gain weight. In addition, he wants to make room for his close friend and training partner Merab Dvalishvili, who is ranked ahead of O’Malley in first place in the division, to compete for the belt.

On the flip side, O’Malley isn’t thinking of making things easy for Sterling. At 5-foot-11, he is four inches taller than Sterling with an inch reach advantage. It lands 2.65 bpm more than Sterling and is more explosive. In his ten fights in the UFC, he has won seven Performance Awards including four Performance of the Night Awards. So while some might consider O’Malley a hype job, he’s proven that’s definitely not the case.

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 17: (LR) Opponents Aljamain Sterling and Sean O'Malley face off during the UFC 292 press conference at TD Garden on August 17, 2023 in Boston, MA.  (Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

BOSTON, MA – AUGUST 17: (LR) Opponents Aljamain Sterling and Sean O’Malley face off during the UFC 292 press conference at TD Garden on August 17, 2023 in Boston, MA. (Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

The co-main event features another title bout between strawweight champion Zhang Weili and challenger Amanda Lemos. Lemos believes she is flying under the radar heading into the match against the two-time champ and believes she has all the technical advantages over Zhang.

Lemos is a powerful puncher and a great finish maker. She’s 13-2-1 overall in MMA and 7-2 in the UFC. She won 11 out of her 13 fights to the end, eight of which came by knockout. However, she is up against a different kind of athlete against Zhang. Willie is -320 favorite to defend her title. Lemos is +250.

Follow the entire card, from the early starts to the two title fights, by tracking us live below:

UFC 292 – Main Card, Odds (start time 10pm ET, ESPN + PPV)

• Welterweight Championship: Aljamen Sterling (DV) (-275) vs. Sean O’Malley (+210)
• Women’s Strawweight Championship: Zhang Weili (DV) (-350) vs. Amanda Lemos (+260)
Lightweight: Neil Magney (+310) vs. Ian Machado Gary (-400)
• Bantamweight: Marlon Vera (-190) vs. Pedro Munhos (+160)

UFC 292 – Prelims Card, Odds (start time 8pm ET, ESPN / ESPN+)

Middleweight: Chris Weidman (+220) vs. Brad Tavares (-275)
Middleweight: Gregory Rodriguez (-375) vs. Denis Tullulin (+280)
Lightweight: Austin Hubbard (-175) vs. Kurt Holubow (+145)

UFC 292 – Early prelims card, odds (start time 6:30pm ET, ESPN+)

Middleweight: Andrei Petroski (-250) vs. Gerald Mearschaert (+200)
• Women’s Flyweight: Andrea Lee (+270) vs. Natalia Silva (-350)
• Women’s Flyweight: Karen Silva (-175) vs. Marina Moroz (+145)

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