Plans for the Fight Island rematch arrive four months after Sterling and Yan’s first meeting at UFC 259 ended in a disqualification win for Sterling, who was unable to continue in the fourth round after taking an illegal knee to the head.
Multiple people with knowledge of the planned booking confirmed the news to MMA Fighting after Sterling announced the rematch and his intention to meet the winner of UFC Vegas 32’s main event between ex-champ T.J. Dillashaw and Cory Sandhagen. As of yet, no contracts are signed for Sterling vs. Yan 2, sources told MMA Fighting.
October 30th in Abu Dhabi, all the talking ends! Sleepyhagen or Needleshaw, winner gets the next whooping after I put away Yan in 3!— Aljamain Sterling (@funkmasterMMA) July 24, 2021
Only thing that matters in this sport is blue-collared hard-work! No Dana White Privileges ever given to me #AndStill! #Georgia pic.twitter.com/BvkEaKfEgs
UFC 267 is expected to air on ESPN and ESPN+ as the first numbered event to not air on pay-per-view since UFC 138 in 2011. MMA reporter Ariel Helwani was first to report broadcast plans for the event.
Sterling’s win over Yan was his sixth straight in the octagon and followed a submission of Sandhagen that solidified his No. 1 contender status. He recently underwent surgery for longstanding neck problems and said he was ready to defend the title on the Oct. 30 date originally proposed by UFC President Dana White.
Sterling and Yan have traded jabs and insults online and in interview since their controversial first fight. Yan maintained he made a mistake in throwing the knee, believing Sterling was not grounded. The Russian’s loss was just his second as a professional and followed seven straight UFC wins.
Also on tap for UFC 267 is a light heavyweight title fight between champ Jan Blachowicz and Glover Teixeira, who will get his second shot at the belt after a loss to now-former champ Jon Jones at UFC 172.