UFC interim bantamweight champion Petr Yan will look to unify the division titles when he collides with current 135-pound titleholder Aljamain Sterling as part of the UFC 273 pay-per-view (PPV) event on Sat., April 9, 2022 from inside VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida.
Unfortunately for Yan, his regular cornermen have been denied entry into the United States, one of many ripple effects of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, so “No Mercy” will be forced to recruit a temporary team for his trip to the “Sunshine State.” At the top of the list is none other than retired lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Joining him could be bantamweight banger “Sugar” Sean O’Malley.
And a surprise entrant: retired UFC “champ champ” Henry Cejudo!
Nothing is official at this time, but Yan has three weeks to figure it out.
Yan (16-2) refers to himself as the “undisputed bantamweight champion” on social media, ignoring the fact that Sterling captured the 135-pound crown by way of disqualification after “No Mercy” landed an illegal knee during their UFC 259 title fight back in March 2021.
In the wake of their controversial finish, Sterling was sidelined with neck surgery while Yan made his return against Cory Sandhagen at UFC 267, winning the promotion’s interim title after five rounds of high-octane action.
For the rest of the UFC 273 fight card and PPV line up click here.