The UFC’s new bantamweight champion Petr Yan had to wait until the fifth round to seal a TKO victory and claim the title against Jose Aldo tonight at UFC 251 after a hard fought, entertaining battle.
The first of three UFC 251 title fights is underway on Fight Island.
Aldo feels out with the jab. Leg kick from Yan. Body punch from Yan. Head kick attempt from Yan.
Winging hooks from Yan miss. Leg kick from Yan. Hard two punch combo from Yan gets through.
Solid body punch from Yan. Heavy leg kick from Aldo knocks Yan off his feet momentarily. Back upright he gets back to it, but Aldo lands to the body.
Yan with feints now. Missed leg kick from Aldo. Head kick attempt from Yan is blocked. Snapping punches from Aldo.
Punch upstairs and then one to the body from Yan. Right hand sneaks through from Aldo. Right hand to the body from Yan. Now he goes upstairs with one too.
Hard leg kick for Aldo. Now one to the body. Powerful right hand connects clean from Yan. Aldo tries for a takedown, but ends up on his back and Yan gets on top. He stays postured over him though and lands a couple of punches down.
A hard blow to the body seems to hurt Aldo. Yan has a delayed reaction to seeing this and then pours on the pressure with big punches as Aldo covers up and manages to survive to the end of the round.
Cautious start to the second round. Yan tries for a head kick, but it doesn’t pay off. Leg kick for Aldo.
Aldo lands the leg kick again. Now one to the body. Punch to the chest from Aldo. Head kick attempt from Yan. Inside leg kick from Aldo.
Yan off-balance as he loads up on punches in close. Nice body punch from Aldo. Yan tries to fire back with wide hooks, but misses.
Another powerful leg kick from Aldo. Now one to the inside of the leg. Body kick for Yan and then an oblique kick.
Straight left gets through for Yan. Jab from Aldo. Another left for Yan. Hard body kik for Aldo. Double jab left hand from Yan.
Good body punch from Aldo. Inside leg kick from Aldo and working the jab too. He loads up on a big body kick and then a punch to the midsection too.
Yan lands nicely upstairs. Aldo punches hard to the body again. He lands another one for good measure.
Big left hand from Yan during a combo that ends with a head kick attempt.
Body kick for Aldo. He works a knee and now a right hand. Body kick for Yan. Kick for Aldo now. Again Yan lands a kick to the body.
One-two for Yan. Now a left hand. Body punch from Aldo. Good right hand for Yan, again to the body from Aldo.
Punch to the head and then digs to the body twice in quick succession. Aldo marching forward and lands again to the body and goes upstairs too. He’s looking confident and punches to the head again. Yan still there though and ready to make a fight of it.
Jab and body punch from Yan. Knee upstairs from Aldo at least partially landed there. Jab for Yan. left hook from Yan glances the target.
Jab for Aldo. Again the hook to the body from Aldo. Nice flurry of punches to the head from Yan. Glancing right from Aldo.
Body and head work from Yan. Nice spinning elbow in close from Yan. Yan with a big connection. He follows up with another nice combo. The fight is ebbing and flowing here, with both men having their moments.
They clinch up now and just as the round is coming to a close Aldo lands a nice spinning elbow.
Aldo unleashing punches to start the fourth and Yan responds in kind, but neither lands cleanly. Yan with a punch. Into the clinch they go, but soon push away.
Nice leg kick from Yan and then one to the body. Body punch from Aldo then tries to split the guard with a right hand. Solid body punch from Aldo and punch in return from Yan.
Back to the clinch briefly. Nice knee to the body from Aldo. Another body punch from Aldo and then a short flurry of punches from Yan.
Body punch from Yan in close, but Aldo rips to the midsection himself shortly afterwards. Again the clinch and Yan tries to trip him, but Aldo shows his balance to stay upright.
Left hand for Yan. Right for Aldo. Body punches and then one upstairs from Yan. Right for Yan. Jab for Aldo. Jumping knee attempt from Yan.
Body kick for Yan. Good pressure and pace from Yan in the championship rounds. Inside leg kick for him. Aldo backing up.
Body punch from Yan. he gets Aldo backed up against the cage. Nice uppercut from Yan. He’s getting momentum here and catches a leg and puts Aldo on his back.
Yan on his feet posturing over Aldo and landing some hard punches here. 20 seconds to go and he drops some hard left hands. Yan ends the round on top landing more blows.
Right hand and then a powerful left for Aldo hurts Aldo. Yan follows up with another strike and Aldo goes down!
Yan goes down and starts to work for a finish. Yan in half guard and landing some big punches. Aldo trying to squirm away from this offense. Yan staying heavy on top of him though. Short punches for him. Now he looks for the crucifix and blasts a huge elbow.
Aldo bleeding heavily and turns his head away. Yan is blasting away with hammerfists now. Aldo turns and is face down in a pool of his own blood as Yan continues to hit him. He turns and then goes back to the same position and covers up.
Yan not giving up on the finish here and keeps chipping away with punches, and finally the referee does the right thing and waves the fight off, handing Yan a big TKO stoppage that will see him crowned the new UFC bantamweight champion!