Dana White has revealed the date for UFC bantamweight champion Petr Yan’s first title defense.
On Wednesday, White confirmed to Yahoo Sports that Yan (15-1) would defend his belt against Aljamain Sterling (19-3) at UFC 256 on December 12. The match-up has long been rumored, and thanks to impressive runs by both the new Russian champ and “Aljo,” it is rather highly anticipated.
27-year old Yan capped off an impressive six-fight run through the UFC’s 135lb weight class by knocking out Jose Aldo for the bantamweight title back in July. The belt had been left vacant when Henry Cejudo retired earlier this year.
Yan has also picked up wins over Urijah Faber, John Dodson, and Jimmie Rivera on his run to the top.
Sterling, with the UFC since 2014, has earned his chance at gold off the strength of a five-fight win streak that includes victories against Cody Stamann, Pedro Munhoz, and recent Fight Island winner Cory Sandhagen.
Yan vs. Sterling is expected to serve as the co-main event at UFC 256. In the main event slot will be Amanda Nunes, defending her featherweight title against Megan Anderson. It will mark Nunes’ second straight 145lb defense attempt, after she defeated Felicia Spencer earlier this year.
UFC 256 is expected to take place at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.