The feud between the two UFC bantamweight kings continues to rage on.
On Tuesday, the new date of the highly-anticipated rematch between champion Aljamain Sterling and interim champion Petr Yan was confirmed to be set for UFC 273 in April, a change from a previously settled date at UFC 272 in March.
Sterling (20-3 MMA, 12-3 UFC) recently stated the delay was due to Yan’s personal reasons and not being vaccinated for COVID-19. However, Yan (16-2 MMA, 8-1 UFC) claimed that is not true as he is vaccinated and ready to fight now, while citing a completely different reason for the change in date, which prompted a back-and-forth exchange on social media Tuesday evening.
“UFC simply doesn’t want fake champion to headline’. The UFC needed a backup plan”, tweeted Yan.
Sterling was awarded the belt via disqualification when Yan struck him with an illegal knee that rendered “The Funkmaster” unable to continue.
The rematch was set for UFC 267 in October, but this time Sterling was the one who withdrew due to lingering issues from neck surgery. Yan faced Cory Sandhagen for the interim bantamweight title instead, outlasting him in a thrilling standup battle.