Aljamain Sterling didn’t put off his matchup with Rafael Assuncao for too long.
Last month, Sterling withdrew from his bout against Assuncao scheduled for this Friday in Albany because of an injury. The UFC tried to find a replacement, but Assuncao chose to wait it out.
Now, a new bout agreement has been signed for the highly ranked bantamweights to finally meet. Sterling and Assuncao will meet on Jan. 28 at UFC on Fox 23 in Denver, according to UFC officials.
Long Island’s Sterling (12-1, 4-1 UFC) last fought in May, losing a split decision to Bryan Caraway. Before the loss, he was unbeaten as a pro, including wins in the UFC against Takeya Mizugaki and Johnny Eduardo.
Assuncao (23-5, 7-2 UFC) is coming off his first loss since 2011 after falling to former champion T.J. Dillashaw at UFC 200 in July. That was his first fight since a win over Caraway in 2014 that capped a seven-fight win streak as Assuncao sat on the sidelines with ankle injuries.
UFC on Fox 23 is scheduled to be headlined by a women’s bantamweight bout between Valentina Shevchenko and Julianna Pena.