This week the UFC made MMA fans extremely happy. They reportedly made two absolute bangers in the bantamweight division.
UFC Interim Bantamweight Championship
With bantamweight champion, Aljamain Sterling sidelined due to a neck injury his fight with Petr Yan had to be scrapped. However, Cory Sandhagen has stepped up to fight Petr Yan for the interim bantamweight championship. Sandhagen is coming off a loss to TJ Dillashaw. With Dillashaw unable to fight after knee surgery this is the most exciting fight to make in the division.
The winner of Yan vs Sandhagen will get a shot at the bantamweight champion Sterling when he is able to return. Yan was on a ten-fight win streak before he suffered his first UFC loss. Yan was disqualified for an illegal knee and lost the belt to Sterling. There is no love lost between Yan and Sterling as they have had a lot of back and forth on social media. Both fighters have referred to one another as a “paper champion.”
— Petr “No Mercy” Yan (@PetrYanUFC) September 22, 2021
Cory Sandhagen will be looking to spoil the rematch that Yan’s fans desperately want. Despite coming off a loss his resume is no joke. Before losing to former bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw, Sandhagen won seven of his last eight fights. His only loss came at the hand of the current champion Sterling via first-round submission. This fight will take place at UFC 267 and will be a co-main event fight. With the winner of this fight almost certainly fighting for the bantamweight title in their next bout; Who does TJ Dillashaw fight when he returns?
Rob Font vs Jose Aldo
TJ Dillashaw could find himself fighting the winner of Rob Font vs Jose Also when he is cleared to head back into the octagon. Aldo is coming off an extremely impressive victory at UFC 265 when he defeated Pedro Munhoz via unanimous decision. That fight put Aldo on a two-fight winning streak since losing to Petr Yan. With a win over Rob Font, Aldo would find himself right back in the title picture and likely in a title eliminator vs TJ Dillashaw.
Rob Font is looking to put a stop to what is likely Jose Aldo’s final run at returning to claim UFC gold. Font is riding a four-fight win streak that includes wins over Cody Garbradt and Marlon Moraes. The number four ranked bantamweight has already fought a ton of big names in the bantamweight division and the road will not get any easier for him. The path to the title now has a future Hall of Famer in Jose Aldo and likely former champ TJ Dillashaw on it. If Rob Font is able to pull off two victories it will be impossible to deny him of a shot at UFC Gold.
This fight is slated to be a five-round main event of the UFC fight night on December 4th. Jose Aldo will look to become a UFC champion in two different weight divisions. Meanwhile, Rob Font will look to become the first Massachusetts native to have UFC gold draped around his waist.
The landscape of the bantamweight division appears to be crystal clear. The winner of Yan vs Sandhagen will fight for the belt and the winner of Font vs Also will fight TJ Dillashaw. Hopefully, nothing happens in this unpredictable sport to take this away from us. The bantamweight division may be the most exciting division in the UFC right now.
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