Two of the bantamweight division’s top contenders Marlon Moraes and Petr Yan will headline UFC Fight Night 176 in Khazakstan on June 13th.
Moraes had thought he’d earned a title shot against Henry Cejudo when he narrowly defeated Jose Aldo by split decision in December, but then Dana White threw a spanner in the works by suggesting that he’d felt Aldo should have won, and has now proceeded to book the Brazilian star against the champion instead.
It’s a tough break for Moraes, who has won five of his past six fights in the division, though it’s worth noting that he did fight Cejudo before the Aldo fight and lost by TKO in the third round.
In Yan he now faces one of the most in-form fighters in the UFC right now, having won all six of his fights in the Octagon so far, including a 2019 campaign that saw him earn decision victories over John Dodson and Jimmie Rivera followed by a head kick knockout finish over Urijah Faber.
As things stand that leaves Yan placed at No.3 in the bantamweight rankings heading into this fight, two places behind Moraes, who technically is the No.1 contender even although it’s not qualified him for another shot at the belt.