Aljamain Sterling out; Raphael Assuncao awaits replacement opponent

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A change has been made to the upcoming UFC Fight Night card in Albany as Aljamain Sterling has suffered an injury that will force him out of his Dec. 9 bout against Raphael Assuncao.

Sources close to the contest confirmed the news to FOX Sports on Wednesday following an initial report from MMAJunkie.com

It appears UFC officials are currently seeking a replacement to face Assuncao on short notice who already has clearance to compete in the United States.

It’s a big setback for Sterling, who was looking to bounce back from the first loss of his career to Bryan Caraway back in May. Now the New York native will have to wait until 2017 to return to action with no details on how long the injury might sideline him.

As for Assuncao, the fight in December was also a chance at redemption following a unanimous decision loss to T.J. Dillashaw at UFC 200.

Assuncao is still ranked as one of the best bantamweights in the world, but injuries have kept him out the Octagon for nearly two years before he finally returned in July.

UFC Fight Night in Albany is headlined by a heavyweight showdown between Derrick Lewis and Shamil Abdurakhimov with the entire card set to air live on UFC Fight Pass.