Petr Yan’s first defense of his UFC bantamweight title is on course to happen this December.
Dana White confirmed to ESPN that Yan is slated to fight Aljamain Sterling in the co-main event of UFC 256 on December 12th in Las Vegas. Pen to paper hasn’t happened just yet but the promotion is looking to finalize this highly anticipated matchup.
Yan (15-1) captured the vacant bantamweight belt with a hard-fought fifth-round TKO of Jose Aldo at UFC 251 in July. The 27-year-old Russian is undefeated inside the Octagon and has dazzled with his performances against the likes of Aldo, Urijah Faber, Jimmie Rivera, and John Dodson.
Sterling (19-3) has been in sparkling form since his KO loss to Marlon Moraes in 2017. Over the last three years he has won five straight, including most recently a spectacular first-round submission of Cory Sandhagen at UFC 250 in June. After years as one of the top bantamweights in the world (and also years curiously spent on the prelims), Aljo is finally in line for his first title shot in what should be a magnificent stylistic clash.
UFC 256’s main event was supposed to be Kamaru Usman vs. Gilbert Burns for Usman’s welterweight title, but that fight has been pushed back to 2021. Instead, the women’s featherweight title fight between champion Amanda Nunes and Megan Anderson is expected to serve as the headliner.