Sterling was forced out of the fight due to lingering issues with his neck, as he had neck surgery earlier this year. With him out of the fight, Yan will remain on the card and will face Cory Sandhagen for the interim bantamweight title. It’s an intriguing matchup, and for Sterling, he believes Sandhagen beats Yan in the second round, which will set up their rematch later this year or early 2022.
“Morning session in the books! I will continue to push the body and rehab my neck. Sandman smokes Cheatr Pan in 2 RDS. Epic rematch to follow in December or early 2022. – Let them compete for 2nd place while I make sure my nervous system fully heals. Make all the jokes you want, I’ve done a lot in this sport and I’m not done yet! #AndStill,” Sterling posted on Instagram.
When Sterling will be cleared by doctors is uncertain but after he got the surgery, he always said December but the UFC made the fight at the end of October. No matter who wins the fight between Yan and Sandhagen, Sterling will be defending his belt in a rematch.
Petr Yan is coming off the DQ loss to Sterling back in March at UFC 259 to lose his title. It was a fight he was winning until he threw the illegal knee. Prior to that, he TKO’d Jose Aldo to win the vacant title. The Russian is also undefeated in the UFC. Sandhagen, meanwhile, is coming off a controversial split decision to TJ Dillashaw last time out. Prior to that, he scored highlight-reel KO wins over Frankie Edgar and Marlon Moraes.
Do you agree with Aljamain Sterling that Cory Sandhagen defeats Petr Yan at UFC 267?