December’s UFC 256 — their final pay-per-view of the year — appears to be that of the snakebitten variety as they have lost their second title fight off the card thus far this month, while somehow managing to luckily gain one in the last 24 hours.
While not yet announced by the promotion, bantamweight champion Petr Yan’s first defense of his title against top challenger Aljamain Sterling is off due to Yan pulling out due to undisclosed, non-injury reasons. MMA Island first had the news with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani adding further detail.
Earlier this month, two division champion Amanda Nunes pulled out of her scheduled featherweight title defense against Megan Anderson due to an undisclosed reason.
Enter flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo, he of the quick title defense at Saturday’s UFC 255. At the post-event press conference, Dana White said they are looking to make Figueiredo vs. Brandon Moreno at the December 12th show, making it the first time in company history a UFC champion has defended in consecutive months. Moreno also fought Saturday night, picking up a first round win.
At this point, the pay-per-view lineup doesn’t have much else other than Tony Ferguson vs. Charles Oliveira, leading Helwani to opine that they could move things around from the December 19th ESPN+ show that features Leon Edwards vs. Khazmat Chimaev, Jose Aldo vs. Marlon Vera, Marlon Moraes vs. Rob Font, and more to make a lineup more PPV-worthy.