Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has re-booked the Bantamweight battle between top-ranked contenders Raphael Assuncao (No. 3) and Aljamain Sterling (No. to take place at UFC on FOX 23 in Denver, Colo., on Jan. 28, 2016, according to Newsday.com.
The 135-pound scrap was supposed to actually take place at UFC Fight Night 102 this weekend (Fri., Dec. 9, 2016) before Sterling had to withdraw from the Fight Pass-only event with an injury.
Sterling (12-1) is looking to gain back ground in the Bantamweight Top 10 after a split decision loss to Bryan Caraway at UFC Fight Night 88 back in May. Getting struck by “Kid Lightning” snapped a 12-fight mixed martial arts (MMA) win streak and put “Funk Master” in a divisional holding pattern.
That could all soon change a “Mile High.”
Indeed, it will all depend on his performance against Assuncao (23-5). The Brazilian is also coming off a recent loss, ending a run of seven consecutive wins, thanks to a unanimous decision defeat to ex-champion T.J. Dillashaw at UFC 200.
It’s a meaningful divisional match up that will inch the winner closer to a potential title shot sometime in 2017.
UFC on FOX 23 features a possible No. 1 women’s Bantamweight contender eliminator match between top-ranked contenders Valentina Shevchenko (No. 2) and Julianna Pena (No. 3) in the main event of the evening. In addition, a bang fest between Hector Lombard and Brad Tavares, as well as a Lightweight showdown between J.C. Cottrell and Jason Gonzalez, are currently planned to take place inside Pepsi Center.