Yan was due to make the first defense of the title he won by stopping Brazilian veteran Jose Aldo in the fifth round of their contest at UFC 251 on Fight Island in July, but as-yet unspecified reasons have caused the December showdown with Sterling to be postponed, sources in Russia have told RT Sport.

Initial unconfirmed reports suggest that the issue is due to injury rather than other problems such as Yan obtaining a US visa.   

There are early suggestions that should the fight not go ahead as planned this year, it will be moved to UFC 258 in February.   

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