UFC 267 this weekend is set to be one of the biggest cards of the year, headlined by a double header of title fights at the top of the card.
One of those will be an interim title fight at bantamweight, arguably the most stacked division in the sport right now, between Petr Yan and Cory Sandhagen in a fight the people have dubbed as the people’s title fight.
The two men will face off after Aljamain Sterling was ruled out of his first title defence in a rematch against Yan after the UFC doctors refused to clear him following neck surgery.
They were supposed to run it back from UFC 259 after Yan became the first fighter to lose their title via disqualification when he kneed Sterling in the head while he was down and rendered him unable to continue.
The way that fight was going, Yan was set to retain his title. He had denied Sterling’s attempts to take him down and began finding the mark with his excellent boxing, while the cardio was holding up for him and Sterling was faltering.
A win on that night would’ve set up a title shot against Sandhagen. However because of the way that fight ended, ‘Sandman’ was forced to decide between waiting it out or taking another fight.
Listening to the company, he opted to take a huge fight against the returning former champion TJ Dillashaw and suffered a defeat in a razor close five-round war that could easily have gone either way.
At that point, it seemed as though he had lost his opportunity at the next title shot and would have to earn another win somewhere to get back into contention.
But when Sterling withdrew and Dillashaw had undergone knee surgery following his bout against Sandhagen, the UFC remembered that he didn’t need to take the fight that cost him the title shot and rewarded him.
Now you have two of the best pure strikers in the division going head-to-head, with UFC gold on the line and both men having a point to prove.
It’s the fight many wanted anyway and fans will now get to see arguably the two best 135lbers in the world go at it with the ultimate stakes on the line.
It’s the people’s main event and two of the very best in the world and my pick for the fight of the night on a stacked card.