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Visa issues behind Petr Yan’s UFC 256 withdrawal, wants quick rescheduling of Aljamain Sterling title fight

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UFC 251: Usman v Masvidal Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC

Petr Yan was recently forced withdraw from his scheduled Bantamweight title fight against Aljamain Sterling, which was set to headline UFC 256 on Dec. 12, 2020, in Las Vegas, Nevada. And while no details were disclosed as to why the bout was canceled in the initial report, Yan recently broke his silence, explaining what exactly happened to force him out of his first-ever title defense.

“Everything’s in force for the fight. It’s going to be postponed for about a month and a half, but everything’s in order,” Yan said during a recent Instagram chat with fans (courtesy of RT Sport). “There were different problems, with the flight, with the visa, during training I flew away for a visa deadline, lots of factors.”

Yan won the title earlier this year at UFC 251, stopping Jose Aldo via strikes to claim the vacant 135-pound strap (see it again here). Winner of 10 straight, Yan quickly became one of the most dangerous fighters in the division and now that he has the belt, all eyes are on him.

Once he gets his visa issues situated, “No Mercy” hopes that UFC brass can reschedule his fight against "Funk Master" as soon as possible.

“We decided with the team to move everything to next year, perhaps the card will be more suitable. … Everything is good, training continues,” he concluded.

UFC 256 will now be headlined by a men’s Flyweight title fight as Deiveson Figueiredo will face Brandon Moreno, which will be just 21 days after they both competed at UFC 255 last weekend (Sat. Nov. 21, 2020).

Of course, if Yan has problems getting to “Sin City,” the promotion can always book the title fight as the co-main event for UFC 257 on Jan 23, 2021, on “Fight Island,” which will be headlined by a Lightweight bout between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier.

Just a thought.

Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 256 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN 2/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 256: “Figueiredo vs. Moreno” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.