The Russian was dominant from start to finish in his performance against UFC Hall of Famer Urijah Faber but he capped off his night with a highlight reel head kick KO that may have cemented his spot as the No. 1 contender in the 135-pound division.
“I’m very glad I won. I hope today, Urijah fans are going to become my fans,” Yan said. “I want next fight, Cejudo title shot. Triple clown? Where is triple clown?”
Yan was the aggressor throughout the fight as he patiently stalked Faber across the Octagon, picking and choosing his strikes rather than getting wild in the exchanges. Faber did manage a well-placed knee strike when Yan ducked his head down momentarily but the Russian walked through it without even blinking.
The willingness to exchange strikes without fearing repercussions paid off for Yan in the second round after he shrugged off a takedown and then planted him on the mat with hard right followed by a crushing left straight down the middle. Faber fell to the mat but immediately began defending the swarm of strikes coming from Yan on the ground.
The fight got back to the feet and Faber actually connected with a stiff left hand of his own that caught Yan off guard but again he refused to back down. Yan then came over the top with a clubbing elbow that put Faber down again, this time with a serious damage done to the left eye.
Despite the swelling, Faber was allowed to continue but his fate was sealed just a few moments later.
At the start of the third round, Yan clinched with Faber and then threw a head kick on the separation that blasted “The California Kid” and sent him careening towards the canvas. The referee quickly jumped into prevent Yan from throwing anymore strikes with the end coming at just 43 seconds into the final round.
Yan is now 6-0 in the UFC and it’s going to be awfully hard to deny him a title shot once Cejudo is ready to return from his shoulder surgery in 2020.