The long-awaited bantamweight championship rematch between Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan won’t happen at UFC 267 as originally anticipated.
Sterling has withdrawn from the bout due to lingering issues with his neck. “The Funk Master” underwent surgery in April to repair a herniated disc in his neck that has plagued him for years dating back to his collegiate wrestling career. MMAFighting.com was first to report Sterling’s exit from the card.
Sterling captured bantamweight gold at UFC 259 on March 6, when Yan landed an illegal knee that rendered the Serra-Longo Fight Team member unable to continue. Yan, who had claimed the vacant belt with a stoppage of Jose Aldo, could remain on the UFC 267 card in an interim championship clash against Cory Sandhagen, according to a report from MMAjunkie.com. Bout agreements have not yet been issued to either Yan or Sandhagen, however.
Sterling is on a six-bout Octagon winning streak that also includes triumphs over the likes of Sandhagen, Pedro Munhoz and Jimmie Rivera. The 32-year-old New Yorker is 12-3 over the course of his UFC tenure.
Yan, meanwhile, had a 10-fight professional winning streak snapped in the loss to Sterling. The 28-year-old Russian known as “No Mercy” was victorious in his first seven UFC appearances, posting notable triumphs against the likes of Aldo, Urijah Faber, Rivera and John Dodson.
UFC 267 takes place on Oct. 30 at Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi and is headlined by a light heavyweight championship tilt pitting Jan Blachowicz against Glover Teixeira.
« Previous Video: UFC 266 ‘Embedded’ Episode 6 Next UFC 266 Highlight Video: Jonathan Pearce Submits Omar Morales »