Longtime UFC bantamweight contender, Aljamain ‘Funk Master’ Sterling finally has his title wish. On December 12th. at UFC 256 in Las Vegas, Nevada – the Uniondale native is scheduled to meet with undisputed gold holder, the promotional perfect, Petr ‘No Mercy’ Yan in a co-main event title matching.

Russian boxing standout, Yan attempts the first title defence of his reign as titleholder, following a vacant championship success opposite featherweight icon, José Aldo ‘Jr.’ in the co-main event of UFC 251 in July from the Flash Forum on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

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Streaking contender, Sterling earned his long-awaited challenge at bantamweight spoils at UFC 250 in June – scoring a highlight-reel rear-naked choke win over recent UFC Fight Island 5 main event winner, Cory Sandhagen. The promotion appeared reluctant to announce Sterling as the next challenger to the throne with former opponent, Marlon Moraes meeting Sandhagen last weekend, With the latter’s stunning second-round knockout win, Sterling’s status was cemented. Yahoo! Sports reporter, Kevin Iole was first to pen the news of the bantamweight title clash.

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Undefeated in the promotion and riding a staggering ten-fight unbeaten run – Yan has laid waste to each and every one of his opponents in the UFC so far. The seven-fight Octagon veteran took wins over former flyweight title hopeful, John Dodson, Tiger Schulmann trainee, Jimmie Rivera – and blasted through former WEC 145-pound best, Urijah Faber to earn a vacant title tilt against the aforenoted, Aldo. In an entertaining back-and-forth – Yan eventually scored a fifth-round knockout win over the Manaus favourite.

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Matt Serra and Ray Longo MMA product, Sterling added the above mentioned, Sandhagen to an eye-catching five-fight winning run in June. Unbeaten since his stunning knockout loss to one-time title challenger, Moraes – Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu player, Sterling has lodged victories over Brett Johns, Cody Stamann, common opposition, Rivera, and Brazilian mainstay, Pedro Munhoz in June of last year.

UFC 256 takes place on December 12th. from Las Vegas, Nevada – with a featherweight title matching of two-weight world champion, Amanda ‘The Lioness’ Nunes and former Invicta FC 145-pound best, Megan Anderson taking main event honours

Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.