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UFC 259 fight card primer: Petr Yan vs. Aljamain Sterling

Get up to date with the bantamweight title fight at UFC 259 between Petr Yan and Aljamain Sterling.

The first of three title fights at UFC 259 sees bantamweight champion Petr Yan (15-1 MMA, 7-0 UFC) make the first defense of his title against #1 contender Aljamain Sterling (19-3 MMA, 11-3 UFC). UFC 259: Adesanya vs Blachowicz airs live from the promotion’s APEX facility in Las Vegas this Saturday, March 6th. The main card will start with a fight time of 10:00 p.m. ET / 7.00 p.m. PT, with the ESPN+ prelims beginning at 8:00 p.m. and the early prelims kicking off at 6:00 PM ET/3:00 PM PT.

How do these two stack up?

Yan: 28 years old | 5’7” | 67” reach

Sterling: 31 years old | 5’7” | 71” reach

What have these two done recently?

Yan: W - Jose Aldo (TKO) | W - Urijah Faber (KO) | W - Jimmie Rivera (DEC)

Sterling: W - Cory Sandhagen (SUB) | W - Pedro Munhoz (DEC) | W - Jimmie Rivera (DEC)

How did these two get here?

Seven fights into his UFC career and Petr Yan is already the bantamweight champion. It was clear when the promotion signed the former ACB champ in 2018 that Yan was going to make waves in the 135-pound division. Cruising to four straight wins in less than a year, Yan’s last three victories against Jimmie Rivera, Urijah Faber and Jose Aldo have been his most impressive. The Russian’s fifth-round TKO win against Aldo was undoubtedly one of the best title fights of 2020.

It was always the same old story for Aljamain Sterling. Pick up a few impressive wins, only to suffer a setback loss. That isn’t the case anymore. “Funk Master” was won his last five fights at 135-pounds, beating some of the division’s best along the way. Sterling’s quick submission win over Cory Sandhagen last June rightfully earned him a title shot, and he will hope to deny Yan the first defense of his belt.

Why should you care?

The oddsmakers have this fight almost even, it will be an incredibly close one.