After three years gone from the sport, Alexander Yakovlev returned at UFC St. Petersburg with a submission win over the debuting Alex da Silva.
Alexander Yakovlev was originally set to fight Teemu Packalen at UFC St. Petersburg, but the debuting Alex da Silva will face him instead. Yakovlev had a very tough Octagon debut on short-notice against Demian Maia. After falling in that fight and his next, the Russian won two straight fights before running into current champion Kamaru Usman, who defeated him soundly. Yakovlev is looking to bounce back from an armbar loss to Zak Cummings back in 2016.
Alex da Silva is a young 23-years-old making his promotional debut at UFC St. Petersburg. Da Silva won the first 18 fights in his career before a loss in 2017. “Leko” has won his last two fights ahead of his debut. On top of his 20-1 record, he has finished all of his opponents with 13 striking stoppages and seven submissions.
The first round was a fun, grapple-heavy round. Alex da Silva looked very comfortable on the feet early, and Alexander Yakovlev looked to clinch and grapple with him. Da Silva turned the tables and got a big slam takedown on Yakovlev and looked to get his back. Yakovlev turned to his back and eventually looked to grab a leg which he used to get back to his feet. The two then stayed in the clinched for the duration of the round. Close round, but we gave it to da Silva.
CagesidePress Scores Round One 10-9 for Alex da Silva
Round two began with Yakovlev slipping and da Silva jumping on top in the guard. He then looked to get an arm-triangle, but as he got into side control, Yakovlev got out and tried to scramble into a takedown. As he did so, da Silva looked for a guillotine, but Yakovlev got a massive slam takedown. Yakovlev then began looking for a choke and got a guillotine choke up against the fence, and got the tap.
Extremely fun fight, and a good comeback performance by Yakovlev after being out of the sport for three years.
Alexander Yakovlev def. Alex da Silva by Submission (Guillotine) in Round 2 (3:10)