Petr Yan vs. Aljamain Sterling
Saturday, March 6, 2021 at 10:00 PM (UFC APEX)
The Line: Aljamain Sterling -110 / Petr Yan -110 -- Over/Under: Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
Petr Yan and Aljamain Sterling fight Saturday in UFC 259 at the UFC APEX.
Petr Yan enters this fight with a 15-1 record and has won 47 percent of his fights by decision. Yan has won each of his last 10 fights and is coming off a July win over José Aldo. Yan is averaging 6.32 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 50 percent. Yan is averaging 1.46 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 52 percent. Yan is now 7-0 under the UFC banner and is coming off a fifth round knockout at UFC 251. In the victory, Yan landed 258 total strikes, 62 percent of his significant strikes and produced a takedown. Yan is your typical tough Russian who has a strong chin and is willing to trade strikes, as he’s walked down all of his opponents up to this point. Yan grew up fighting in the streets and comes from a deep boxing background that he picked up from his brother. That’s been Yan’s fighting style throughout his career, as he keeps his hands up, walks down his opponent and follows up his jab with a strong right hand. Yan also has a dangerous elbow that he likes to throw in the clinch and he’ll mix in a leg kick every now and then. Yan has arguably the best standup in this division and he loves his chances as long as he avoids the canvas. This will be Yan’s second career fight in Las Vegas.
Aljamain Sterling enters this fight with a 19-3 record and has won 47 percent of his fights by decision. Sterling has won each of his last five fights and is coming off a June win over Cory Sandhagen. Sterling is averaging 4.82 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 50 percent. Sterling is averaging 1.89 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 29 percent. Sterling is coming off a first round submission win at UFC 250, a bout that earned performance of the night honors. Sterling is now 11-3 under the UFC banner. Sterling is an accurate striker with an impressive work rate and he’s a black belt in BJJ. Sterling has a background in Division III wrestling and he’s never been finished on the canvas while he has eight career submissions. Sterling has become a really balanced fighter and he finally gets a title shot as he approaches 32 years old. This will be Sterling’s fifth career fight in Las Vegas.
You can make a strong argument for Sterling in this bout, as he has a reach advantage on the feet and his wrestling background gives him a clear edge over Yan, who is most comfortable standing up. Sterling takes this fight to the ground and he’s in a great position to become new champ. However, Yan is a fighter who I don’t bet against often, as he has arguably the best boxing in the sport and considering I was a boxing fan first, there’s some bias toward quality boxers in MMA. It doesn’t get much better than Yan and as long as he can avoid takedowns, he should be in great shape to keep his belt.
I’ll side with Yan in this toss up fight.