Source: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC
UFC 259’s deep Pay-Per-View slate offers three title fights, including one which will determine if a new Bantamweight king will be crowned.
After former UFC double weight division champion Henry Cejudo retired from combat sports in mid-2020, the 135-pound division needed a new champion. The promotion picked veteran and former Featherweight champion Jose Aldo to face bustling contender Petr Yan for the strap. The fight ended with Yan grabbing a late-round victory and being crowned the new champ of the Bantamweights.
This will be Yan’s first title defense since that bout in July, and it will be against one of his toughest challenges yet, No. 1 contender Aljamain Sterling.
Both of these fighters have ferocious power, and weight classes like bantamweight are known for fast-paced, high-volume matchups. There is no indication that this bout will be any different.
What makes this matchup so interesting is the two different styles of fighting being combined inside the Octagon. Yan is known for incredible striking power and a chin that can withstand wars.
Sterling, on the other hand, has ended nearly half of his wins by submission, so grappling is king in his camp. It will be very interesting to see how these styles matchup and who is working on different aspects of their gameplan to make adjustments.
It is clear that Yan views being a champion as a long-term gig and not something that comes and goes.
“Being champion is a very big responsibility, but just winning the belt was not my ultimate goal,” Yan told MMAFighting.com. “My goal right now is to defend this title multiple times and I’m completely focused on that.”
Sterling is looking at this fight as an opportunity to make a statement and finally taste UFC gold. Despite the confidence, he also knows how difficult this challenge will be.
“...[H]e knows he has a tough challenge ahead of him,” Sterling said on the Schmozone podcast. “I know he is trying to do the right things to get him the win, and I don’t want any excuses at the end of the day, and the same goes for me.”
To see this fight as well as two other title bouts, you can purchase the ESPN+ Pay-Per-View on or before 10 p.m. EST on Mar. 6.