UFC 251 marks a historic card for the UFC as they will hold their first ever event on “Fight Island” in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi.
Not only will the event be unique due to its outside beach venue, but it will also be just the sixth card in UFC history to feature three championship fights.
The main event will be a welterweight title bout between champion Kamaru Usman and fan favorite Jorge Masivdal. In the co-main event, featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski will face Max Holloway in a rematch of their December fight in which Volkanovski won by unanimous decision. Prior to those fights, Petr Yan and Jose Aldo will square off to fight for the vacant bantamweight championship.
In the first title bout of the evening, former featherweight king, Jose Aldo takes on the heavily favored Petr Yan for the vacant bantamweight title. Yan is coming into this bout riding a 9 fight win streak, whereas Aldo has fallen short in his last 2 outings.
Following his win at UFC 249, former champion, Henry Cejudo announced his sudden retirement from the sport of MMA. With the title up for grabs, Yan and longtime top contender, Aldo will battle it out, center-cage to determine who the new king of the bantamweight division is.
Here’s a breakdown of the UFC bantamweight title bout between Peter Yan and Jose as it plays out, including round-by-round scoring. For full results of UFC 251, click here.
The fighters touch gloves and this bout is underway. There is a slight feeling out process in the center of the cage. Both fighters exchange jabs. The pair is looking a bit hesitant to commit first. Yan attempts a head kick that is blocked and Aldo fires back with a punch combination that is also blocked. Yan lands a hard jab to straight right combination that backs up Aldo, wobbling him momentarily. Aldo clears the cobwebs and scores a leg kick that puts Yan down. Now that both Fighter’s have tested each other’s power, they go back to a slower pace with two minutes left. Aldo is getting the better of his man towards the end of the round. Yan lands two clean right hands with under a minute left and Aldo switches levels for a takedown. Yan is able to score the reversal and lands heavy ground and pound on Aldo, potentially stealing the round; landing a slew of bombs to the grounded Aldo as he winces in pain from a nasty body shot.
MyMMANews scores round 1 for Petr Yan 10-9
Aldo starts this round with more of a traditional Thai style stance, feinting the front kick often and hands held high. Yan fires a headkick that misses. Yan blitzes forward looking head hunting with a heavy barrage with nothing finding its mark. Aldo is utilizing his leg kicks wisely this round, slowing Yan down. Yan is coming in short bursts while Aldo is dictating the pace from outside. Aldo steppedon the gas in the second round, opening with explosive leg kicks, straight rights and looking like the featherweight king we used to know.
MyMMANews scores round 2 for Jose Aldo. 10-9.
The fighters start this round pumping their jabs. Aldo let’s a headkick loose followed by a lead knee. Yan is looking to stay in this contest by loading up with heavy bombs. He comes over top with an overhand left that has Aldo drop his hands momentarily, setting up Yan to follow with a straight right with nasty intentions written all over it. Aldo continues going after his man, with most of this bout spent in the pocket, trading shots. With 1:30 left in the round is the pair get into a brief slugfest before Aldo withdrawals to get back to his technical prowess. Yan is landing heavy punches to the head of Aldo, forcing him to step inside to clinch. The pair jock for position as Aldo finishes the round with a spinning back elbow at the bell.
MyMMANews scores round 3 for Jose Aldo. 10-9
Aldo rushes forward to start this round as he and Yan don’t waste any time getting into it. The pair trade kicks. Aldo rips a left hook to the body and seems to be targeting Yan’s midsection more frequently. The fighters slow down, waiting for their next explosion. Yan is attempting to walk Aldo down in the last quarter of this round, landing hard punches to the head and bloodying Aldo’s face. Aldo attempts to clinch his opponent as Yan scores the trip and gets to work to close the round.
MyMMANews scores round 4 for Petr Yan. 10-9
The fighters hug in the final championship round and get tight to work. Yan landed a heavy straight left hand from the start of the round, dropping Aldo in his tracks. Yan follows Aldo to the ground where he secures the crucifix position and hammers away at a wounded Aldo with heavy ground and pound. Aldo is doing everything he can to scramble, but Yan is on top of him at every turn. Yan lands brutalizing hammerfists, a knee to the body, huge elbows. Aldo is bleeding and on his way out. The referee looks on as he’s moments away from stopping it on several occasions. The punishment continues, Aldo doesn’t defend and the ref has seen enough as he steps in to stop this bantamweight title bout.
Official decision: Petr Yan defeats Jose Aldo via TKO at 1:24 seconds into round 5.
Currently studying Broadcast Journalism at Wilmington University, Adam’s passion for the sport only grows stronger when a fighter’s voice can be heard. He thrives on asking detailed questions to inspire the thoughts behind the punches in hopes that each fighter can find their proper justice. Specializing in pre and post fight interviews for MyMMANews, Adam strives to keep the fight fans up to speed with the most recent and authentic MMA news possible.
He is Co-promoter of Delaware’s premier kick-boxing and Muay Thai organization, IBF Promotions. Recently he has also accompanied MMA organizations Global Proving Ground and XCC as Co-host and ringside commentator.