It seems that UFC 267 will still have its bantamweight title fight, albeit an interim one.
After champion Aljamain Sterling was forced to leave his rematch against Petr Yan because of a neck injury, ESPN reported that top contender Cory Sandhagen had agreed to step in on short notice for an interim title fight.
UFC is moving forward with an interim bantamweight title fight between Petr Yan and Cory Sandhagen at UFC 267 on Oct. 30, Dana White told @bokamotoESPN.— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) September 28, 2021
Reigning champion Aljamain Sterling was scheduled to defend his title against Yan, but failed to receive medical clearance. pic.twitter.com/MDxVv2hN9p
In his last outing, Yan (15-2) lost the title to Sterling via disqualification due to an illegal knee, back in March, marking his first Octagon loss. Before that, the 28-year-old was on a seven-fight winning streak in the UFC, including wins over notable names such as Jose Aldo, Urijah Faber and John Dodson.
Similarly, Sandhagen (14-3) will try to bounce back from a close split decision loss to former champion T.J. Dillashaw, back in July. This defeat snapped a two-fight winning streak for the 29-year-old, who had picked up a couple of highlight reel knockout wins over Frankie Edgar and Marlon Moraes. Dillashaw would’ve been the logical next contender but he’s recovering from knee surgery.
Now, Yan is expected to take on Sandhagen at UFC 267, on October 30, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The card is scheduled to be headlined by a light heavyweight title fight between the champion, Jan Blachowicz, and challenger Glover Teixeira.