Petr Yan was set to take on Aljamain Sterling at UFC 256 next month for his first title defense. The bantamweight champion won the vacant belt after defeating Brazilian mixed martial arts royalty Jose Aldo at UFC 251 on Fight Island earlier this year.
‘No Mercy’ was set to take on the new number one contender, ‘Funkmaster’. However, a visa issue has meant that the champion was not allowed to travel to the United States due to which the fight had to be removed from the card. The UFC will now reschedule the fight as early as possible in 2021 once Yan and his team iron out the visa issues.
‘No Mercy’ recent went live on Instagram to answer questions from fans. During the live he revealed why his fight against ‘Funkmaster’ was called off. He said, “Guys, the fight will happen everything is okay. The date will be pushed back a month and a half. We got the contract everything is in order. There were a few problems with flights, the visa.”
The Russian champion continued, “I flew (to Kazakhstan) during my training. To get the visa at the deadline. Lots of factors were at play. My team and I decided to move everything to 2021. And perhaps to a more suitable card. Anyway big-moves high stakes. To everyone commenting nonsense, I think it’s uncalled for, there is a right time for everything.”
Cancellations have plagued the UFC 256 card. Kamaru Usman and Gilbert Burns were initially set to be the main event. However, the champion needed more time and therefore the fight was withdrawn.
Amanda Nunes and Megan Anderson were then supposed to headline. ‘The Lioness’ withdrew from the fight as she had an injury and therefore that fight too, was canceled.
Petr Yan vs Aljamain Sterling is the third main event title fight that has been canceled on the card. Thankfully, it is not an injury but a visa issue that has kept Yan out of the fight. Therefore, the two men should be rescheduled for a fight early in 2021.
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