UFC 256 has been given a complete reshuffle from it’s scheduled main events as Petr Yan has withdrawn from his bantamweight title defence against Aljamain Sterling.
The December PPV was originally scheduled to be headlined by two title fights, with Kamaru Usman defending his welterweight title against Gilbert Burns while Amanda Nunes was due to defend her featherweight strap against Megan Anderson.
Usman withdrew from the fight several weeks ago citing injury problems, so the UFC booked Petr Yan vs Aljamain Sterling in a highly anticipated fight to top the card as a replacement.
Amanda Nunes was forced to pull out of her title defence too just a couple of weeks ago due to personal reasons but now just three weeks before the card, Yan has also withdrawn for personal reasons.
This has led to a 21-day turnaround for flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo who will now fight Brandon Moreno on December 12th.
Both fighters competed this weekend at UFC 255, picking up first round wins. Figueiredo was dominant once again as he submitted Alex Perez, while Moreno took advantage of opponent Brandon Royval dislocating his shoulder to secure a TKO win with a second to go in the round.
After their victories, both fighters called for each other to be their next opponents and Dana White has seemingly moved to make it official quickly with a verbal agreement in place for both fighters just two hours after UFC 255 ended, according to ESPN.
In another boost to the card, ‘El Cucuy’ Tony Ferguson will also get to fight again before 2020 is over as he is now scheduled to take on Charles Oliveira in the co-main event.
Ferguson was expected to fight Dustin Poirier earlier this year but an agreement never materialised and the former interim champion will now face Conor McGregor at UFC 257 in January.
Michael Chandler was offered to Ferguson too but after serving as the back-up fighter for the lightweight title fight at UFC 254, it was deemed that he wouldn’t be able to makeweight again so soon afterwards so the UFC moved on to make the fight with Oliveira.
Both fighters thrive in chaos and Oliveira is currently riding a seven-fight win streak, defeating Kevin Lee in his last outing via submission in the third round. Ferguson was on a UFC-high 13-fight win streak before he was knocked out by Justin Gaethje at UFC 249 in May.
The fact the Yan/Sterling fight was originally a replacement bout and that has now fallen through too explains why the UFC are so keen to book the flyweight title fight with a quick turnaround.
UFC 256 has been completely reshuffled now but still leads with a contender fight in the lightweight division and a title fight as the main event.