Petr Yan is the new UFC bantamweight champion after smashing the legendary Jose Aldo in the fifth round of their UFC 251 title bout.
Legacy is nearly obsession when it comes to combat sports. When all is said and done, legacy is all that you leave behind. And it was legacy on the line in the first of three title fights at UFC 251. The kickoff of Fight Island.
On one side, a fighter with an established legacy and a claim to greatness in Jose Aldo. Whatever your thoughts on the former featherweight champ, he had dominated at 145lbs for a decade. Now, coming off a controversial loss, he was being awarded a title shot at bantamweight, which a chance for a second belt, which would solidify his legacy as one of the best ever.
His opponent, Petr Yan, hadn’t yet built that sort of resume. But he was looking to secure his own legacy by claiming UFC gold on Saturday night. Yan landed the first strike of the first round with a leg kick and body shot. Aldo responded with a lead left hook. Yan fired back and connected with an overhand right. Another hard hook connected for Yan and Aldo circled out. A hard leg kick from Aldo drops Yan, who shot back to his feet.
Aldo connected on an uppercut while Yan simultaneously landed a lead hook. Aldo connected with a right hand and Yan was able to respond with a body shot. Another hard leg kick from Aldo, followed by a simultaneous jab from both men. Yan connected beautifully with a 1-2, and Aldo had a takedown attempt stuffed. Some ground-and-pound from yan hurt Aldo, but he’s able to survive the round.
The second round opened up with a front kick to the body connecting for Aldo. Both men standing inside the pocket looking to have a kickboxing match with each other. Aldo connected with a body shot and was able to evade a few wild shots from Yan. More hard leg kicks landed for Aldo. Yan continues to press forward and land right hands to Aldo’s chest. A left hand connected for Yan to the face, but Aldo responded with a kick to the body. Aldo mixed up his kicks nicely to the leg head, and body. The Brazilian’s assault to Yan’s body continued. The round came to an end with a wild exchange, Yan landing a body kick, and Aldo responding with a hook.
The third round kicked off with some hard kicks to the body from Aldo. Aldo was really mixing his shots up well, especially in his pursuit of body shots. Yan snuck in a nice jab but Aldo responded right back with a few shots to the body. A blitz from Aldo and it’s all attacks to the body. Yan is able to get out of the corner with a few wild shots. A nice uppercut from yan and now he’s pressing forward. Aldo responds with a leg kick and knee to the face. Yan put together a few big shots that landed, and he continued to walk Aldo down, before Aldo circled out of a big hook and clinched up. Yan was able to separate with a spinning backfist. Yan pressed forward and landed some huge shos, wobbling Aldo slightly. Hard shots being exchanged from both men, and the round comes to an end with a spinning elbow from Aldo.
Beginning the championship rounds in the fourth was a few good kicks to the body from Yan. Aldo ripped off a good hook to the body, but Yan responded immediately with a huge hook to the head. Yan landed aa very nice combination, ending with a hard body shot. A hard knee to the gut from Yan connected, and Aldo was just able to stay on his feet from a trip takedown attempt.
Yan attempted to respond to Aldo’s body attacks with some work to the midsection of his own. Aldo now slowing down the pace, and Yan is coming forward with some big power shots, and connecting, keeping Aldo against the cage. Yan gets some stiff shots in against the cage, followed by a trip takedown, before stacking Aldo and getting in some ground-and-pound. Big shots landing from Yan in top position to end the round.
The final round began with a hug from both men, and Yan rocked Aldo with a huge combination. Aldo is dropped and Yan unleashes a flurry of ground-and-pound. Yan traps one of Aldo’s arms but Aldo recovers it. Again Aldo gets his arm trapped and Yan is ripping off hard elbows and shots. Yan traps one of Aldo’s hands and is unloading big shots. Aldo rolls over but continues to eat big shots. After way too long, the referee steps in and calls the fight off.
Official Result: Petr Yan def. Jose Aldo via R5 TKO (punches, 3:24)