What is one more month to wait for Aljamain Sterling-Petr Yan revenge?
Reigning bantamweight champion Sterling and interim champion Yan were booked last week to fight at UFC 272 on March 5 in Las Vegas. Not anymore.
The two are now scheduled to fight each other at UFC 273 on April 9, according to Sterling’s accounts on social media and several reports. No city or venue for UFC 273 has been announced yet.
That fight was to be the UFC 272 co-main event, with Alexander Volkanovski defending his featherweight title against Max Holloway in the main event. A few days later, Holloway had to pull out of the meet with an injury.
Now Jorge Masvidal vs. Colby Covington will serve as the main event at UFC 272 in March, and Volkanovski will, according to several reports, meet “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung for the title at UFC 273.
The rebooking of Sterling-Yan gives them an extra month to go back and forth on each other on social media, as they have done since the night they first fought.
Sterling tweeted on Tuesday that he was told Yan was the reason the fight was pushed back.
Yan responded on Twitter, saying “The UFC simply does not want fake champions to stand in the head of the event.”
Sterling, the Serra-Longo fighter from Uniondale, and Yan, from Russia, fought for the first time at UFC 259 on March 6, 2021, where Sterling was awarded the Yan title of a disqualification after the standing Yan delivered an illegal knee to the grounded Sterling’s head in the fourth round. It was the first time in UFC’s nearly 30-year history that a title changed hands at a disqualification.
The judges got the match scored 29-28, 29-28, 28-29 through the first three rounds for Yan, who admittedly was also on his way to winning the fourth round before the illegal knee.
This will be Sterling’s first title defense (20-3). He was also scheduled to meet Yan in October last year, but was not medically approved to fight after undergoing neck surgery to repair an injury that has plagued him for several years. Yan (16-2) fought instead, beating Cory Sandhagen at UFC 267 to win the temporary bantamweight title.