UFC will introduce an interim bantamweight championship late this year, as former champ Petr Yan will face the rising Cody Sandhagen at the promotion’s October 30th event. The new pairing was first reported by Brett Okamoto of ESPN.
The fight joins UFC 267, which is set to happen at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Yan is being placed in an interim title spot after a matchup against UFC Bantamweight Champion Aljamain Sterling fell through last week. The interim belt will serve as a way for the division to keep moving with the current champion sidelined.
Yan lost his belt earlier this year, being on the losing side of a disqualification against Sterling due to a fourth-round illegal knee strike. Before then, Yan had defended his belt once in a 2020 performance over former 145-pound champ Jose Aldo.
The fight will be Sandhagen’s first title fight since joining the UFC roster in 2018.
Sandhagen started his run in the promotion with a five-fight winning streak. After losing to Sterling in 2020, Sandhagen bounced back by scoring knockouts over Marlon Moraes and Frankie Edgar within a four-month window.
Sandhagen is coming off a loss, as he dropped a split decision to the returning TJ Dillashaw in July.
The new interim title booking keeps UFC 267 as a double title fight lineup. In the main event of the show, Jan Blachowicz will look to defend his UFC Light Heavyweight Championship for the second time when facing Glover Teixeira.
Here’s the updated lineup:
Bout 13: Jan Blachowicz (28-8) vs. Glover Teixeira (32-7) (UFC Light Heavyweight Championship)
Bout 12: Petr Yan (15-2) vs. Cory Sandhagen (14-3) (Vacant Interim UFC Bantamweight Championship)
Bout 11: Amanda Ribas (10-2) vs. Virna Jandiroba (17-6) (Strawweight)
Bout 10: Alexander Volkov (33-9) vs. Marcin Tybura (22-6) (Heavyweight)
Bout 9: Li Jingliang (18-6) vs. Khamzat Chimaev (9-0) (Welterweight)
Bout 8: Michal Oleksiejczuk (15-4) vs. Shamil Gamzatov (14-0) (Light Heavyweight)
Bout 7: Tagir Ulanbekov (12-1) vs. Allan Nascimento (18-5) (Flyweight)
Bout 6: Zubaira Tukhugov (19-5-1) vs. Ricardo Ramos (15-3) (Featherweight)
Bout 5: Magomed Ankalaev (15-1) vs. Volkan Oezdemir (17-5) (Light Heavyweight)
Bout 4: Hu Yaozong (3-2) vs. Alen Amedovski (8-2) (Middleweight)
Bout 3: Damir Ismagulov (23-1) vs. Magomed Mustafaev (14-4) (Lightweight)
Bout 2: Albert Duraev (14-3) vs. Roman Kopylov (8-1) (Middleweight)
Bout 1: Makwan Amirkhani (16-6) vs. Lerone Murphy (10-0-1) (Featherweight)