Petr Yan to make first title defense
It appears as if Aljamain Sterling will finally be getting his chance to fight for a UFC title.
According to UFC President Dana White, who spoke with Yahoo! Sports’ Kevin Iole yesterday, a 135-pound title fight between champion Petr Yan and Sterling will serve as the UFC 256 co-main event on Dec. 12 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
Since entering the UFC in 2018, the 27-year-old Yan has been on a tear, as he’s compiled a perfect 7-0 record that features five victories by way of stoppage. After scoring three-straight wins over the likes of John Dodson, Jimmie Rivera, and Urijah Faber, Yan took on former 145-pound champion Jose Aldo this past July at UFC 251, scoring a TKO victory to earn the vacant bantamweight title.
Sterling, meanwhile, has been on quite an incredible run as of late too, as the 31-year-old Long Island native has won five consecutive fights since suffering a brutal knockout loss against Marlon Moraes in 2017. During his winning streak, “The Funkmaster” has picked up victories over Brett Johns, Cody Stamann, Rivera, and Pedro Munhoz, but his most impressive performance came last June when he submitted fellow top contender Cory Sandhagen in just under 90 seconds.
Although Sterling has clearly been deserving of a shot at the title, White has seemed noncommittal over the last few months in regards to whether or not he would be next for Petr Yan. Perhaps the result of this past weekend’s main event bout between Moraes and Sandhagen, which Sandhagen won via T/KO, led the UFC to finally book Yan and Sterling.
UFC 256 is currently set to be headlined by a women’s featherweight title fight between two-division champion Amanda Nunes and former Invicta titleholder Megan Anderson.
Long Island-based sports writer covering MMA, Boxing, and the New York Jets.