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Petr Yan vs. Aljamain Sterling turns UFC 259 into a championship tripleheader

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This bantamweight title pairing was originally planned for UFC 256.

UFC 251: Yan v Aldo Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

UFC 259 is on course to feature three championship fights.

MMA Junkie reported on Thursday that a men’s bantamweight title bout between Petr Yan and Aljamain Sterling is on tap for March 6th. The fight was originally set for UFC 256 last month before Yan had to withdraw due to Visa issues.

Yan (15-1) won the vacant belt last July with a fifth-round TKO of Jose Aldo at UFC 251. The Russian striker is unbeaten inside the Octagon and has other notable wins over Urijah Faber, Jimmie Rivera, and John Dodson. According to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, Yan is training at American Top Team in the US for his first title defense.

Sterling (19-3) is gearing up for his first career title shot and in fact the first scheduled five-rounder of his UFC tenure. The Long Island native extended his winning streak to five with a spectacularly swift opening round rear-naked choke finish of Cory Sandhagen at UFC 250. That 88-second stoppage also netted Sterling his first ever UFC performance bonus.

While UFC 259 doesn’t have a location or venue yet, this card on paper figures to be worth salivating over. The main event is expected to be a light heavyweight title fight between reigning champ Jan Blachowicz and middleweight champion Israel Adesanya. In the other title bout, two-division champion Amanda Nunes makes her women’s featherweight title defense versus Megan Anderson.