Bantamweight champion Petyr Yan (15-1, 7 KOs, 1 SUB) makes his first title defense against Aljamain Sterling (19-3, 2 KOs, 8 SUBs) at UFC 259: Adesanya vs. Blachowicz on Saturday, March 6, 2021 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. The card airs live on pay-per-view starting 10pm ET. In the main event, unbeaten middleweight champion Israel "The Last Stylebender" Adesanya (20-0, 15 KOs) will challenge light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz (27-8, 8 KOs, 9 SUBs) in an attempt to become a double champ. Let's take a closer look at the Yan vs. Sterling odds and break down your best UFC online betting options.
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In a loaded bantamweight division, Petyr Yan has emerged as the champion after Henry Cejudo vacated the title. Winning the strap is one thing, defending it is another. The 28-year old Russian has looked like a monster compiling a 7-0 UFC record - most recently scoring consecutive knockouts of Urijah Faber and Jose Aldo - but how will he fare with a huge target on his back? Aljamain Sterling is an elite, well-rounded fighter who will really test the champ...and perhaps become the king himself.
Petyr Yan (15-1, 7 KOs, 1 SUB)
Yan's been on the radar for a long time, even as a young 20-something on the regional Russian circuit. He has not disappointed. In his UFC debut, he knocked out veteran Teruto Ishihara and brought the pain against Jin Soo Don. As he leveled up, he won clear decisions against an explosive striker in Jimmie Rivera and the gritty Jimmie Rivera. The wins over Faber and Aldo confirmed that he's not only a stud, but a champion.
If you haven't seen the Russian fighter, you're in for a treat: there are few fighters in the UFC who delight in violence as much as Yan. A superior technical boxer, once the champ gets his rhythm and distance locked in, he turns up both the volume and power. Against slower, less capable fighters, Yan is a predator toying with his prey. But against strong wrestlers and willing brawlers, Yan will fight more cautiously. That he can go to Plan B and C shows excellent experience for somebody who is still just 28.
Aljamain Sterling (19-3, 2 KOs, 8 SUBs)
While Sterling has had trouble gaining traction with fans, he's had no trouble piling up wins against the best of the 135-pound class. While some early UFC slipups derailed his early hype, The Funkmaster has won seven of his past eight, most recently beating Jimmie Rivera, Pedro Munhoz and Cory Sandhagen. The win over Sandhagen was especially impressive, as Sterling needed less than two minutes to sub one of the division's hottest fighters and a legitimate title contender.
Aljamain might not be tall for the division, but he is long - he'll have a four-inch reach advantage in this matchup. Though striking isn't his strongest skill, Sterling does have the ability to pick apart solid boxers at long range. If that's not working, The Funkmaster can fall back on his awesome submission wrestling.
Significant Striking Stats
Strikes landed per minute: Yan 5.65 / Sterling 4.82
Striking accuracy: Yan 46% / Sterling 50%
Strikes absorbed per minute: Yan 3.15 / Sterling 1.94
Striking defense: Yan 67% / Sterling 66%
Takedowns per 15 minutes: Yan 1.73 / Sterling 1.89
Takedown accuracy: Yan 53% / Sterling 29%
Takedown defense: Yan 87% / Sterling 51%
Submissions per 15 minutes: Yan 0.22 / Sterling 0.99
Competitive odds for a tough-to-call matchup here. Yan is easy to fall in love with, as his highlight reel can be absolutely terrifying. We're sticking with him here as it's an affordable price for a fighter with special striking skills and excellent physical attributes. Sterling is a dangerous, well-rounded opponent, but we don't see him controlling the striking or having the raw physical power to force a grappling match.
UFC 259: Blachowicz vs. Adesanya Card & Odds
Light Heavyweight - Jan Blachowicz +203 vs. Israel Adesanya -250
Women's Featherweight - Megan Anderson +725 vs. Amanda Nunes -1250
Bantamweight - Aljamain Sterling -115 vs. Petr Yan -109
Light Heavyweight - Thiago Santos +130 vs. Aleksandar Rakic -157
Bantamweight - Casey Kenney -137 vs. Dominick Cruz +113
Lightweight - Drew Dober +280 vs. Islam Makhachev -356
Flyweight - Joseph Benavidez +113 vs. Askar Askarov -137
Welterweight - Jake Matthews +170 vs. Sean Brady -206
Lightweight - Aalon Cruz +147 vs. Uroš Medic -176
Flyweight - Jordan Espinosa -127 vs. Tim Elliott +103
Bantamweight - Kyler Phillips +127 vs. Song Yadong -152
Flyweight - Kai Kara-France -137 vs. Rogério Bontorin +113
Women's Strawweight - Lívia Renata Souza +184 vs. Amanda Lemos -225
Light Heavyweight - Kennedy Nzechukwu +196 vs. Carlos Ulberg -240
Bantamweight - Trevin Jones +191 vs. Mario Bautista -235
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