Aljamain Sterling (18-3) is a 30-year-old from New York who is 4-0 since a loss to current No. 1 bantamweight contender Marlon Moraes in 2017.
The most evenly-matched fight on the UFC 250 main card in Las Vegas on Saturday night from an MMA odds perspective is the third of the five bouts as bantamweight contenders Aljamain Sterling and Cory Sandhagen do battle.
The UFC’s bantamweight division is a bit of a mess right now after champion Henry Cejudo surprisingly retired (for now) following a win in UFC 249 last month. This fight between Sterling, ranked No. 2 in the division, and Sandhagen, who is fourth, could lead to a title shot for the winner. Sterling is a -120 favourite with Sandhagen at -110. In addition, two more Top-10 bantamweight guys, Raphael Assuncao and Cody Garbrandt, will meet immediately after this fight Saturday.
Sterling (18-3) is a 30-year-old from New York who has a fabulous nickname of “Funk Master.” Since a loss to current No. 1 bantamweight contender Marlon Moraes in December 2017 by first-round knockout, Sterling is 4-0. He was last in the Octagon in June 2019 and beat Pedro Munhoz by unanimous decision. Sterling is also one of three fighters in UFC history to land a Suloev Stretch kneebar submission, doing so in a win over Cody Stamann at UFC 228.
Sterling vs. Sandhagen UFC 250 Odds
Nine of Sterling’s wins are by decision and seven by submission – two of his three losses were via the judges. For Saturday, he is +160 to win by decision, +655 by submission and +900 by KO, TKO or disqualification. Sterling’s fights average 12:42. He lands 4.85 significant strikes per minute (absorbs 1.95) and 1.91 takedowns per 15 minutes with 29 per cent accuracy. His takedown defence is 51 per cent.
Sandhagen (12-1), 28, is from Colorado and is yet to lose in the UFC. His lone blemish was via unanimous decision vs. Jamall Emmers in the Legacy Fighting Alliance in February 2017. Sandhagen has won seven in a row since and is 5-0 in the UFC. He beat Assuncao by unanimous decision last time out in August 2019. Sandhagen was supposed to face Frankie Edgar in January, but Edgar accepted a short-notice fight against Chan Sung Jung in December 2019 and lost.
Sandhagen has won five times by decision, four by KO/TKO and three by submission. UFC odds have him at +185 to prevail Saturday by decision, +530 by KO, TKO or disqualification and +1400 by submission. Sandhagen’s fights average 9:40. He lands a whopping 7.14 significant strikes per minute (absorbs 4.16) as well as 1.24 takedowns per 15 minutes with 50 per cent accuracy. His takedown defence is 27 per cent.
UFC 250 Predictions: Sterling vs. Sandhagen
The over/under for rounds is 2.5, with the over a -200 favourite. Back Sterling by decision.