From Siberia to UFC royalty.
Yan, who was born within the Russian metropolis of Krasnoyarsk, dropped Aldo with a mixture early within the last spherical after which poured it on as soon as on the bottom.
Yan landed dozens of unanswered blows on the bottom, leaving Aldo facedown in his personal blood earlier than referee Leon Roberts stepped in to name it. The end was the most recent in UFC bantamweight title historical past.
“At first, I wished to place stress on him, make him drained after which begin attacking after the third spherical. That is precisely what occurred,” Yan mentioned via an interpreter. “Within the first and second spherical, he had onerous punches and low kicks. I waited and pressured him. After the second spherical, I began to work. It was knockout. I appreciated it.”
The bout happened on the just lately constructed Flash Discussion board on Yas Island, which the UFC has dubbed “Battle Island” for 4 occasions this month. The venue is a part of a “secure zone” amid the coronavirus pandemic, the place solely those that have been examined a number of occasions for COVID-19 are allowed, together with members of the UFC touring occasion and native employees.
Yan is just the second Russian fighter to win UFC gold, becoming a member of present light-weight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. Coming in, ESPN had Yan ranked No. three and Aldo ranked No. 5 amongst MMA bantamweight fighters.
Yan landed 194 important strikes, essentially the most in a single combat within the historical past of the UFC bantamweight division, per ESPN Stats & Data knowledge. But it surely wasn’t a straightforward path to profitable the title.
Within the first spherical, Yan harm Aldo with a physique kick, after which, after Aldo failed on a takedown try, Yan practically completed with a tough shot to Aldo’s physique on the bottom. Aldo survived, although, and got here again with a wonderful second spherical, utilizing onerous leg kicks and physique punches.
The third spherical was extra of the identical for a bit. It appeared Aldo had made the proper changes and did stable harm in opposition to Yan with onerous mixtures. However within the last 90 seconds of the spherical, Yan took over. Switching forwards and backwards from orthodox to southpaw, Yan landed a spinning again elbow, lengthy mixtures, one other elbow and onerous physique kicks.
By the point the fourth began, Yan was in whole management. Aldo’s nostril was bleeding, and he was attempting to outlive, evading and backpedaling from a urgent Yan. Within the fifth, Yan acquired Aldo up in opposition to the cage and dropped him with onerous punches, together with two huge uppercuts. It was over shortly thereafter.
Yan landed 62 important strikes within the fifth spherical — greater than Aldo had absorbed in his 9 UFC fights.
Aldo is arguably the best featherweight fighter in MMA historical past. He held the UFC/WEC featherweight belt from 2009 to 2015 with a division-record seven title fights.
“It’s a loopy scenario on the earth to arrange for this combat,” Yan mentioned. “The world was closed, however we labored onerous to arrange. Aldo is a legend. I’ve solely respect for him.”
Yan (15-1) has gained 10 straight, together with his first seven within the UFC. “No Mercy” is now tied for the longest profitable streak in UFC bantamweight historical past. Yan, 27, was coming off a third-round knockout of UFC Corridor of Famer Urijah Faber at UFC 245 final December.
Aldo (28-7) has misplaced three straight and has not gained since February 2019. The Brazil native is now 0-2 since transferring right down to bantamweight. Aldo, 33, owns profession wins over former champions Frankie Edgar and Faber, in addition to “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung.