A bantamweight championship rematch between defending gold holder, Aljamain ‘Funk Master’ Sterling and the #1 ranked contender, former champion, Petr ‘No Mercy’ Yan has reportedly been verbally agreed to take place at a non-PPV UFC 267 event in Abu Dhabi, UAE on October 30.
Per a report from MMA Fighting reporter, Damon Martin this evening, verbal agreements are in place for Sterling and Yan to re-run their UFC 259 disqualification clash from March of this year, however, contracts have yet to be signed for the championship rematch.
Opening the first of three title fights at the UFC Apex facility pay-per-view event back in March of this year, Sterling became the first in promotional history to lift a championship as a result of a disqualification, after Yan had landed a knee to the downed Sterling in the fourth round of their title clash.
Per reporter, Ariel Helwani, the event, which is expected to take place in the promotion’s return to the UAE for the second time this year, will be the first flagship, numbered UFC event since UFC 138 back in 2011 to not feature as a pay-per-view showcase in North America.
Uniondale native, Sterling extended his undefeated run at bantamweight to six consecutive fights via his disqualification victory over Yan — following a string of wins which included UFC Vegas 32 headliner, Cory Sandhagen, Pedro Munhoz, Jimmie Rivera, Cody Stamann, and Brett Johns.
For Dudinka striker, Yan, the defeat to Sterling marked his first blemish under the UFC’s banner. Attempting his first defence of the bantamweight crown against the New York native, Yan had lifted the vacant bantamweight title in July of last year on ‘Fight Island’ at UFC 251 with an eventual fifth round ground-and-pound finish over former featherweight kingpin, Jose Aldo.
UFC 267 takes place on October 30. from Abu Dhabi, UAE — with a venue for the event yet to be determined by the promotion. A light heavyweight championship bout between Jan Blachowicz and Glover Teixeira is scheduled to take main event status.