UFC 292: Best Bets and Predictions

UFC 292 is here. Although many key fights have fell out from this card, the goal remains the same for the betters among us. Let’s lock in for the biggest cash outs for the week.

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The Best Bets for UFC 292: Sterling vs O’Malley

Andre Petrovski vs Gerald Meerschaert

Starting in the early prelims, fight fans have an intriguing matchup between a rising prospect and long time veteran.

Andre Petrovski (9-1, 4-0 UFC) has soared to popularity since his participation in TUF 29. The 32-year-old has climbed to 4-0 in the UFC and will face UFC’s middleweight submission ace Gerald Meerschaert (35-16, 10-8 UFC). Meerschaert has seen ups and downs throughout his 18-fight UFC career and hopes to find his way back to the win column on Saturday night.

Petrovski should rumble through this one and with eight finishes on the record, some money on the finish here makes sense.

Fight Pick: Andre Petrovski via Finish

Chris Weidman vs Brad Tavares

Fight fans will witness the return of one of the most iconic fighters in UFC history Saturday night. Chris Weidman (15-6, 11-6 UFC) suffered a horrific leg break in his last fight against Uriah Hall in 2021. Now returning to competition, Weidman will face grizzled vet Brad Tavares (19-8, 14-8 UFC).

Although Tavares has fought to a record of 2-4 in his last six fights, the Hawaiian born fighter has fought the who’s who of the 185-lbs. division. Its hard to picture a win here for Weidman as inactivity should play a major role here in this one.

Fight Pick: Brad Tavares via Unanimous Decision

Da’Mon Blackshear vs Mario Bautista

Da’Mon Blackshear (14-5-1, 2-1-1 UFC) will make history come Saturday as the athlete with the quickest turnaround in UFC history. Blackshear fought this past weekend, earning a first round submission over Jose Johnson and will step in as a late replacement for Cody Garbrandt.

Mario Bautista (12-2, 6-2 UFC) has proved to be lethal on the ground as of late, earning 3-straight submission victories. The MMA Lab athlete holds a vice grip on the moneyline, entering the fight as a sizeable favorite. Blackshear, if he wishes to stand a chance, must punch his way to victory. Although not likely, the price tag here for Blackshear is tempting and one I’m willing to sprinkle a few bucks on.

Fight Pick: Da’Mon Blackshear Moneyline

Neil Magny vs Ian Machado Garry

The featured welterweight fight of the night will showcase a match of ranked combatants. Neil Magny (28-10, 21-9 UFC) has been a long time staple of the UFC’s 170-lbs. division. Sitting at #11, Magny has continued to fight the best of the best at welterweight. Fighting to a record of 4-4 since 2021, the “Haitian Sensation” has seemed to lose a bit of pep in his step—not something that you want to see when facing a blazing hot prospect.

Ian Machado Garry (12-0, 5-0 UFC) pounded out seven straight victories and became the Cage Warriors Welterweight Champion prior to making his UFC debut in 2021. Now ranked #13, Garry will look to keep his undefeated record intact and score a sixth straight UFC victory.

“The Future” has looked phenomenal every step of the way and will continue along that path with a highlight reel finish.

Fight Pick: Ian Machado Garry via T/KO

Aljamain Sterling vs Sean O’Malley

In the main event, all things point in favor of the current 135-lbs. champion, Aljamain Sterling (23-3, 15-3 UFC). Amongst these factors, fight fans can point to Sterling’s utter domination of former title challenger Petr Yan at UFC 273 in comparison to the razor thin win (and arguably loss) Sean O’Malley (16-1-0-1, 8-1-0-1 UFC) scored over the Russian.

The major hurdle O’Malley will somehow have to overcome in this fight will be the wrestling of Sterling. This is not to say O’Malley is a sitting duck on the mat but “Funk Master” certainly holds a strong grappling advantage.

O’Malley’s strong point is his striking. Sterling has only ever been finished once in his career, suffering a freak KO to the now retired Marlon Moraes. O’Malley will not win this fight if it goes the 25-minute distance, so “Sugar” will have to execute a perfect gameplan of mixing it up, pushing forward, and utilizing his incredible footwork to stop Sterling.

This fight should play out to be a fun one and one Sterling should win. Despite the glowing neon sign around an obvious bet on Sterling, this pundit cannot help but want to bet on O’Malley.

Fight Pick: Sean O’Malley via Finish 

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