The wait seems to be over for Aljamain Sterling. UFC president Dana White confirmed to ESPN that the promotion is planning a bout between the top bantamweight contender and newly crowned champion Petr Yan for UFC 256 on Dec. 12.
Sterling has been calling for a title shot as he has built a five-fight winning streak, most recently running through Cory Sandhagen in 88 seconds at UFC 250. However, White refused to commit to Sterling as the next man up for Yan over recent months, continuing to build frustration for Sterling as other fighters like Dominick Cruz, who had not fought for four years, and Jose Aldo, who was 0-1 at 135, were given opportunities.
With Sandhagen recently dominating and knocking out Marlon Moraes, it established Sterling as the most deserving contender in the 135-pound division.
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Yan won the then-vacant title against Aldo at UFC 251, surviving a tough test from the veteran and former featherweight champion before scoring a fifth-round TKO. The victory ran Yan's current winning streak to 10 and his UFC record to 7-0.
According to White, the fight will serve as the co-main event of UFC 256, with Amanda Nunes' women's featherweight title defense against Megan Anderson sitting in the main event slot. The location for the event has not yet been confirmed, though seems likely for the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, which has housed all U.S.-based events during the global COVID-19 pandemic since May 30.