Petr Yan gained the vacant UFC bantamweight championship with a fifth-round stoppage victory over José Aldo at UFC 251 on Saturday evening.
Former strawweight champion Rose Namajunas additionally avenged her loss to Jéssica Andrade with a split-decision victory over Andrade of their rematch on Yas Island, the UAE vacationer vacation spot became a safe bubble by the UFC this month through the coronavius pandemic.
Featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski and welterweight champ Kamaru Usman additionally have been scheduled to defend their belts on the UFC’s so-called “Struggle Island” in Abu Dhabi. The blended martial arts promotion will host 4 exhibits this month on the area, with extra anticipated within the upcoming months.
Three title belts have been on the road on the identical card for under the sixth time in UFC historical past, and Yan (15-1) claimed the primary one by persevering for a beating of Aldo (28-7), the previous featherweight champion dethroned by Conor McGregor in 2015.
Yan weathered an impressed begin by Aldo, and finally established his dominance with superior hanging. After Yan battered a bloody Aldo right into a turtled place on the canvas within the fifth spherical, referee Leon Roberts allowed the struggle to proceed for an alarming period of time earlier than stopping it with 1:36 left.
“I anticipated it to be a tough struggle,” Yan stated by an interpreter. “That was our plan, to get him drained early on, after which within the third spherical, begin attacking.”
Aldo has misplaced three straight fights and 6 of his final 9, however he brought on issues for Yan early on till the youthful Russian took over.
UFC 251 started effectively earlier than daybreak Sunday morning in Abu Dhabi to fulfill the time calls for of the profitable North American pay-per-view viewers. The solar rose behind the momentary air-conditioned area as the cardboard progressed.
Namajunas (9-4) returned from a 14-month break since Andrade (20-8) claimed her title with an upset victory, shocking the champ with a physique slam after Namajunas dominated the early struggle.
Namajunas by no means allowed a chance for Andrade to complete her within the rematch, dominating the primary two rounds along with her slick hanging and fluid motion. Andrade rallied within the third and badly broken Namajunas’ nostril and left eye, however Namajunas gained 29-28 on two judges’ scorecards.
“I used to be simply in the fitting mind-set,” Namajunas stated. “That’s every part. Early on within the struggle, I used to be doing nice. Then I feel she hit the desperation button and began actually unloading. She caught me a few instances, however I simply stayed sturdy.”
If her nostril heals up rapidly, Namajunas might get the subsequent title shot at Zhang Weili, who took the belt from Andrade late final 12 months.
Brazilian flyweight Amanda Ribas kicked off the pay-per-view card with a first-round armbar submission victory over Paige VanZant. Ribas (10-1) improved to 4-Zero within the UFC with a swift dismantling of the favored VanZant (8-5), whose UFC contract is up after 4 losses in her final six bouts.
Jiri Procházka wrapped up the non-PPV undercard with a spectacular knockout of former mild heavyweight title contender Volkan Oezdemir within the opening minute of the second spherical.
Procházka (27-3-1) is a Czech veteran who has fought largely in Japan for the previous 5 years, and he was spectacular in his hyped UFC debut. Procházka lowered his palms, caught out his chin and boldly dared Oezdemir to hit him within the first spherical, and he ended the struggle with a head kick adopted by a punch that rendered his Swiss opponent unconscious.
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