The first of three title fights on the UFC 259 pay-per-view card will be a battle between 135-pound champion Petr Yan and the No. 1 ranked challenger to Yan’s thrown, Aljamain Sterling. According to the pre-fight odds, this just might be the most tightly contested of the night’s three championship contests.
Yan captured the vacant bantamweight title in July with a dominant victory over former featherweight king Jose Aldo. The Russian scored a fifth-round TKO in that contest, to pick up the victory. The title had been vacant since Henry Cejudo surrendered the belt after a May defense where he scored a TKO win over Dominick Cruz.
Yan’s career record stands at 15-1—and a perfect 7-0 in the UFC. The longtime Tiger Muay Thai fighter joined the promotion in 2018 after he won and defended the ACB bantamweight belt.
Sterling earned his UFC title shot on the strength of five consecutive victories, most recently coming off a first-round submission win over Cory Sandhagen. ‘The Funkmaster’ is 19-3 overall, having joined the UFC in 2013 on and 8-0 perfect record. The 31-year-old entered the Octagon a little over two years after capturing the CFFC bantamweight title. He defended that title three times before making the leap from the regional scene into the world’s largest MMA promotion.
Sterling’s most recent loss was a knockout defeat at the hands of Marlon Moraes. Hes other, prior setbacks both came via split-decision.
Yan and Sterling meet on the pay-per-view portion of UFC 259, which takes place March 6 at UFC Apex in Las Vegas. The pay-per-view card streams on ESPN+.
Here is how the two fighters matchup in key stats ahead of the contest.
UFC 259: Petr Yan vs. Aljamain Sterling head-to-head
|Sig. Strikes Landed Per Min.||6.32||4.82|
|Strikes Absorbed Per Minute||3.25||1.94|
|Takedown Avg./15 min||1.46||1.89|
|Submission Average Per 15 min||0.2||1|
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