Petr Yan’s first title defense will come against Aljamain Sterling in the co-main event of UFC 256 on December 12.
UFC President Dana White informed Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports that Petr Yan vs. Aljamain Sterling will be the co-main event of UFC 256, with women’s featherweight champion Amanda Nunes vs. Megan Anderson locked as the main event. Sterling has been hot on the campaign trail for a title shot as of late and rightfully so, with Sterling currently riding a five-fight winning streak, most notably over Cory Sandhagen in June in what was widely considered to be a #1-contender fight.
Petr Yan became the UFC bantamweight champion at UFC 251 by defeating Jose Aldo for the vacant championship. The belt was vacated after Henry Cejudo retired from MMA following his victory over Dominick Cruz at UFC 249. Petr Yan is now proudly wearing the championship belt as a man riding a 10-fight win streak and who is undefeated in the UFC. Sterling will be widely considered Yan’s toughest career test to date, but these are the challenges that champions are made for.
The original UFC 256 main event was planned to be Kamaru Usman defending his welterweight championship against Gilbert Burns, but this bout was postponed until a later date. It is possible that this bantamweight bout would have taken place on the same card regardless as one of three title fights, but now it will have more of the event’s spotlight when Yan and Sterling scrap for bantamweight gold.
With the addition of this championship bout, the updated UFC 256 lineup includes:
UFC Women’s Featherweight Championship: Amanda Nunes © vs. Megan Anderson
UFC Bantamweight Championship Bout: Petr Yan (c) vs. Aljamain Sterling
Marvin Vettori vs. Jacare Souza
Amanda Ribas vs. TBD (Carla Esparza Pulled from Event)
Mackenzie Dern vs. Virna Jandiroba
Li Jingliang vs. Dwight Grant
Who do you believe will exit UFC 256 as the bantamweight champion? Petr Yan or Aljamain Sterling?