Aljamain Sterling to Undergo Neck Surgery- Rematch Date Against Petr Yan in Jeopardy

Published 04/10/2021, 5:30 AM EDT


UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling will undergo neck surgery soon. ‘Funkmaster’ has reportedly been carrying the injury for over 10 years. He has been diagnosed with a herniated disc and will be operated on between the C6-C7 vertebrae on April 15th.

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The champion has also given a timeline regarding his to the Octagon. He is expecting to resume training after three months and engage in cardio to get himself ready. However, the chances are he won’t be able to step inside the Octagon for his first defense before October or November.

They told me I will heal in three months, and can start doing cardio to get myself ready. They wouldn’t want to see me take a fight until they see everything has fused in my neck correctly. Five months would be ideal, if I heal up really quick. I’m excited. The faster I can heal up, the faster I can fight. We’ll find out in the next three months, and get something on schedule,” said Sterling to Brett Okamoto.

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The revelation has put a question mark on the proposed rematch between former champion Petr Yan and ‘Funkmaster’. ‘No Mercy’ has been looking to get his shot at redemption ever since he lost his belt to Sterling at UFC 259 for landing an illegal knee and getting disqualified. But for now, it looks like he’ll have to wait for his shot.

What’s next for Petr Yan as Aljamain Sterling undergoes surgery?

The former champion Yan should be content to wait for his shot as he is next in line for ‘Funkmaster‘. Many believe Yan might have lost the fight due to disqualification, but he didn’t deserve to lose his belt. The Russian is determined to reclaim his status as the champion and eventually take the belt back from Sterling.

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LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MARCH 06: (L-R) Petr Yan of Russia punches Aljamain Sterling in their UFC bantamweight championship fight during the UFC 259 event at UFC APEX on March 06, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

But Sterling’s injury will further elongate his wait. Also, it’s unlikely that ‘No Mercy‘ will look to get back inside the Octagon and fight any other contender and jeopardize his title shot. Hence, it’ll only be wise for him to wait for that chance to materialize.

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Apratim Banerjee

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Apratim Banerjee is an MMA author for EssentiallySports and has been writing professionally for almost a year. Before his current gig, Apratim worked as a UFC writer for Sportskeeda. A long-time MMA fan, Apratim has developed a critical eye for the sport that has helped him transfer his vast knowledge to his copies and give hardcore and casual readers a detailed insight into the fights and fighters.

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