Petr Yan
No Mercy

Russia

New UFC Bantamweight Champ
BantamweightUFC
July 11, 2020
Yan became the undisputed UFC Bantamweight Champion on Saturday, defeating Jose Aldo via TKO (punches) at 3:24 of Round 5 at UFC 251 in Abu Dhabi.
ANALYSIS
It turned into a rout when all was said and done, but this was a legitimate battle for the better part of four rounds. Yan looked calm and composed in the biggest fight of his career, but he still struggled defensively against Aldo. The former pound-for-pound king repeatedly peppered Yan with leg kicks in addition to landing stinging shots to the body. Yan responded with well-placed combinations of his own, and it appeared this fight would go down to the wire until Aldo suddenly gassed out in the later stages of Round 4. Yan poured it on from there. Yan was credited with 194 significant strikes landed, a new WEC/UFC bantamweight record. Overall, Yan landed 258 total strikes, with 113 of them coming in Round 5 alone. At least 75 of those were completely unnecessary, as Aldo was clearly not intelligently defending himself, yet referee Leon Roberts decided to allow the fight to continue for no good reason. Yan looked very good in this fight but he was facing an opponent in Aldo who was more than willing to engage him in a kickboxing match. His first title defense will almost certainly come against rising Serra/Longo star Aljamain Sterling, and Aljo isn't going to allow Yan stand in one place and unload combinations. The line for that fight figures to be tight, with possibly a slight edge to Sterling.
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In for UFC 251
BantamweightUFC
June 9, 2020
Yan's fight against Jose Aldo for the UFC Bantamweight Championship will take place at UFC 251 on July 11 at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, Ariel Helwani of ESPN reports.
ANALYSIS
This matchup has been rumored in recent weeks, but it was unclear when and where it would take place, given both fighters are internationally-based. UFC President Dana White made the official announcement Tuesday that UFC 251 would take place on July 11 on Fight Island, and that Yan-Aldo would be part of the card. Yan and Aldo will be fighting for the bantamweight title left open by the retirement of Henry Cejudo, and it's actually the younger Yan that opened as a betting favorite of roughly (-240). Yan is 6-0 since entering the UFC, while Aldo is just 2-4 in his last six bouts. Aldo will hold a three-inch reach advantage as a fighter who used to compete at featherweight, though both men stand at 5-foot-7. It's a classic "changing of the guard" matchup, as Aldo has competed against elite featherweights for the entirety of his career, while Yan is the red-hot prospect. The winner is almost certain to face top contender Aljamain Sterling in his first title defense.
Path to title laid out
BantamweightUFC
May 28, 2020
Yan is now in line to face Jose Aldo for the vacant bantamweight title at a yet-to-be-determined date and location, UFC President Dana White stated via Sportscenter on Wednesday.
ANALYSIS
Prior to the global pandemic, Yan had been scheduled for a matchup against Marlon Moraes in an event set to take place in Kazakhstan on June 13. That card now appears likely to go down in Las Vegas instead, and it seems neither fighter will participate in it. A lot has changed since the original, early-March announcement, as Henry Cejudo defeated Dominick Cruz at UFC 249 and abruptly retired afterwards, setting the stage for the UFC to vacate the division. While the Moraes fight would have made sense on paper, Yan is a perfect 6-0 in the UFC, and a matchup against Aldo does a lot more for the casual fan. Yan will be giving up three inches in reach to Aldo, a former featherweight. He'll also be nearly seven years younger than the former champion. Given Aldo has dropped back-to-back fights -- albeit at featherweight -- it wouldn't be all that shocking to see the top prospect enter as a betting favorite.
Headlining UFC Kazakhstan
BantamweightUFC
March 4, 2020
Yan (foot) is expected to fight Marlon Moraes on June 13 at UFC Kazakhstan, MMAJunkie.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Yan is a perfect 6-0 in the UFC. He will be coming off a third-round knockout of Urijah Faber at UFC 245. Moraes has won five of his last six fights, most recent being in December against Jose Aldo at UFC 245.
Potential long medical suspension
BantamweightUFC
December 18, 2019
Yan has been suspended 180 days pending x-rays of a possible right foot injury, Nolan King of MMAJunkie.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Yan added a UFC legend to his highlight reel with a third-round KO victory over Urijah Faber at UFC 245, but didn't come away completely unscathed in the process. He'll already sit a mandatory 30 days (21 no contact), but the absence could extend until next summer if his x-rays aren't cleared earlier by an orthopedic physician.
Closing in on title shot after win
BantamweightUFC
December 14, 2019
Yan defeated Urijah Faber via KO (head kick) at 0:43 of Round 3 at UFC 245 on Saturday in Las Vegas.
ANALYSIS
It took a little while to get there, but this ended up being the vicious beating that many of us expected, and it also earned Yan a $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus. Blessed with a substantial advantage in both the speed and power department, Yan eventually unloaded on Faber with countless combinations. This fight could have ended a good three or four minutes earlier had it not been for the toughness of Urijah. Yan looked fantastic. We all know about his power, but his takedown defense held up and he looked calm and composed inside the Octagon. Granted, a win over Faber doesn't mean as much right now as it did a decade ago, but there's nothing to suggest Yan is anything other than a legitimate title contender at 135 pounds. He called for a shot at Henry Cejudo's UFC Bantamweight Championship in his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan. Yan might not get this wish immediately, but it's difficult to believe he is any more than one or two victories away from getting his shot. He could easily fight for the belt within the next 12 months.