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UFC 251 results: Petr Yan stops Jose Aldo late; wins 135-pound title

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Petr Yan just stopped Jose Aldo in the fifth round to capture the vacant bantamweight belt on the UFC 251 PPV main card.

The UFC 251 main card was the setting where a new bantamweight champion was crowned. The promotion’s #3 ranked, Petr Yan, stopped the former featherweight champ, Jose Aldo, with strikes in the fifth round of a grueling war. It took Petr six UFC fights to make it to this title bout, and the Tiger Muay Thai product made the most of his moment.

The bout started with the fighters meeting in the center and exchanging combos. Defense was sharp on both sides, but then they started to open up. Yan landed a stinging right hand, then Aldo scored with a three-piece. Aldo became the one throwing more strikes out there. Yan had moments of sitting back and watching. Then Aldo shot in for a takedown, but ended up on the bottom eating punches. One of the blows hurt Aldo to the body, causing him to shell up momentarily while getting beat on. This happened at the end of the round, so the bell sounded before Yan could fully capitalize.

The second round saw the continuance of their high-level kickboxing version of human chess. The fighters went technique for technique with lots of feints and measuring to boot. Aldo stuck with his jab, peppering Yan and using it to set up his more powerful strikes. Yan was still standing across from Aldo, throwing back but not scoring as much.

The toe to toe standup war continued into the third act. Aldo led the dance, landing more and applying pressure. He began top connect with hard combos that had Yan backpedaling at one point. The variety of Aldo kept Yan guessing, allowing the former featherweight champ to score on different parts of the body. Yan started to flurry his way back into the round, connecting with punches before the bell.

Yan started hot in the fourth frame, throwing heaters at Aldo but missing on most of them. They started to stand forehead to forehead, exchanging elbows and knees alike. Yan was the one finally leading the dance. He pressured Aldo, who appeared to be slowing down. The volume completely shifted to the side of Yan. Damaging body shots started to fly in to the midsection of Aldo, in an exchange that resulted in Petr taking top position. Several hard ground strikes landed before the clock ran out.

Yan started strong again in the final round. He blasted Aldo with a combination that dropped the former 145-pound king. Yan took top position and started to drop devastating elbows. Aldo held on as best he could, trying to move and advance his position. The onslaught from Yan was just too much, and the referee was forced to stop the fight.

Petr Yan def. Jose Aldo by TKO at 3:24 of round 5: Bantamweight Title