The wait seems to be over for Aljamain Sterling. ESPN and MMA Junkie reported on Thursday that UFC is planning a bout between the top bantamweight contender and newly crowned champion Petr Yan for UFC 259 on March 6. Yan later tweeted he had signed his bout agreement.
The bout was originally expected to take place at UFC 256 on Dec. 12 in Las Vegas, but Yan withdrew from the match due to personal reasons. It will be the third title fight on the PPV card. Middleweight champion Israel Adesnya will move up to light heavyweight to take on champion Jan Blachowicz. Women's featherweight champion Amanda Nunes will defend her title against Megan Anderson.
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.
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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.