UFC 259 goes down this weekend at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, and features three title fights. Jan Blachowicz puts his lightweight heavyweight title on the line against the middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, Amanda Nunes defends her featherweight title against Megan Anderson, and Aljamain Sterling challenges Petr Yan for the bantamweight title.
The main card also features a lightweight fight between Islam Makhachev and Drew Dober, and a light heavyweight battle between Aleksandar Rakic and Thiago Santos.
Yan vs Sterling Analysis and Prediction
Yan won the vacant title by finishing Jose Aldo in the fifth round at UFC 251. He’s 7-0 in the UFC, and has looked better with each fight. However, Sterling is going to give the reigning champion a run for his money. They two match up really well with each other, as it’s a traditional striker versus grappler.
Yan certainly has the edge on the feet, as he’s a high-level striker with a strong boxing and Muay Thai base. Sterling on the other hand is a kick-heavy fighter, and uses the interplay of wrestling and striking to win fights. The Russian is more technical on the feet, but both are similar in the sense that they pressure their opponents.
Both fighters have their pluses and minuses as far as statistics are concerned. ‘No Mercy’ lands at an incredible frequency of over five-and-a-half significant strikes per minute on average. Sterling lands over four-and-a-half strikes per minute, which is also incredible. Defensively, the champion isn’t as clinical as his opponent as he absorbs over three-and-a-half strikes per minute, while the American absorbs less than two.
Sterling’s plan is straight-forward, he is going to try and force his opponent against the cage, take him down and submit him, but it isn’t as easy as it sounds. Yan is an expert in the clinch, and uses his sweeps extremely well.
The two are going to fight at a fast pace, with Sterling attempting to impose his will throughout, but Yan will be able to neutralise the wrestling threat of his opponent, and tire him out before eventually scoring a decision victory.
Prediction: Yan via decision
Who do you think wins the bantamweight title fight between Petr Yan and Aljamain Sterling at UFC 259?