Sterling was expected to put his UFC Bantamweight Championship on the line against Petr Yan in a rematch. The title fight was scheduled to take place on Oct. 30 at UFC 267. Plans changed as Sterling hasn’t healed 100 percent from his neck surgery.
Yan has gone full tilt on Sterling, claiming “The Funkmaster” is afraid to fight him again after how things played out in their first meeting before the DQ finish.
The 135-pound champion took to his Instagram account to clear the air on being pulled from his second outing with Yan.
“My situation is complicated. It’s the neck that we’re talking about! This is the BEST I’ve ever felt, waking up in the morning and being able to live life pain-free from nerve issues that’s I’ve had for 10+ years now.
“As always, I like to share the truth and be transparent with my fan base that actually give a shit about fighters’ health. Training has been going well but I’ve been struggling to get my body to push past 2 RDs in sparring sessions. The fatigue that sets in and the cramping still lingers, which my surgeon said is due to the nerves still recovering from the long-term trauma, and surgery I just had. Nothing I can do about that, other than show up in another shell of myself and risk wasting the surgery and maybe getting severely hurt!!”
Sterling went on to say that he was hoping to fight in December. but that wasn’t soon enough for the UFC.
“I originally wanted to fight in December but the plans were pushed up earlier. Unfortunately, my body isn’t agreeing with me and I asked for an extension and asked for Petr Yan to wait, so that I will be the first man in the UFC to beat his ass.”
With that said, Sterling praised the UFC brass for understanding why he wasn’t going to be ready in time for late October. It’ll be interesting to see what the promotion ultimately decides to do. It’s been reported that the hope is to book an interim title fight at UFC 267 but that isn’t set in stone.
Stick with MMA News for the latest info on the UFC’s plans for the bantamweight title picture.