Bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling’s title rematch against Petr Yan at UFC 267 in Abu Dhabi has been cancelled due to the ‘Funk Master’ having a neck injury.
Sterling had previously put the fight on hold in order to undergo neck surgery to fix an issue that had been plaguing him since his college wrestling days, but it seems that he’s still having lingering issues that will prevent him from being ready on October 30th.
Yan has made it clear he’s angry about the continued delay as he seeks to avenge his title-losing disqualification defeat to Sterling back in March, which had been a fight he was winning until he landed an illegal knee to his downed opponent that left him unable to continue.
“You all know that [Sterling] just ran away like a sneaky coward,” Yan said in a video post. “I am not going to sit and wait for him. I am going to fight.
“Give me any fighter, top-five, top-seven, top-10. Anyone who deserves to fight for the belt and I will get the job done.”
It remains to be seen what the UFC will do though, and whether they may be tempted to have Yan fight for an interim belt while they wait on Sterling getting back to full health.
Meanwhile, UFC 267 proceeds with the main event light-heavyweight title clash between Jan Blachowicz and Glover Teixeira still intact, while Volkan Oezdemir vs. Magomed Ankalaev and Alexander Volkov vs. Marcin Tybura are amongst the other fights scheduled for the event.