What’s one more month to wait for the Aljamain Sterling-Petr Yan rematch?
The reiging bantamweight champion Sterling and the 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 social media accounts and multiple reports. No city or venue for UFC 273 has been announced yet.
That bout was supposed 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 event with an injury.
Now, Jorge Masvidal vs. Colby Covington will serve as the main event of UFC 272 in March, and Volkanovski will face “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung for the title at UFC 273, according to multiple reports.
The rebooking of Sterling-Yan gives them an extra month to go back and forth at each other on social media, as they have been doing since the night they first fought.
Sterling tweeted Tuesday that he was told that Yan was the reason the fight was being pushed back.
Yan responded on Twitter, saying “UFC simply doesn’t want fake champion to headline the event.”
Sterling, the Serra-Longo fighter from Uniondale, and Yan, from Russia, first fought at UFC 259 on March 6, 2021, with Sterling being awarded Yan’s title on 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 the UFC’s near 30-year history that a title changed hands on a disqualification.
The judges had the bout scored 29-28, 29-28, 28-29 through the first three rounds for Yan, who ikely was en route to winning the fourth round as well before the illegal knee.
This will be the first title defense for Sterling (20-3). He also was scheduled to face Yan last October but was not medically cleared to fight after having neck surgery to address an injury that has bothered him for several years. Yan (16-2) instead fought and beat Cory Sandhagen at UFC 267 to win the interim bantamweight title.