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UFC 251 live blog: Petr Yan vs. Jose Aldo

UFC 251 Usman v Masvidal: Weigh-Ins Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

This is the UFC 251 live blog for Petr Yan vs. Jose Aldo, a bantamweight title fight on the main card of Saturday’s event at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.

After champ Henry Cejudo vacated the belt earlier this year, Yan and Aldo compete for the title. Yan most recently stopped Urijah Faber at UFC 245 to climb into contention, while Aldo lost a hotly contested decision to Marlon Moraes on the same card.

Check out the UFC 251 live blog below.

Round 1: The two men meet in the middle to start things off but the first minute is largely a feeling out process. Aldo is looking to jab and counter and Yan is taking his time to get started. Aldo lands a leg kick as the first really good strike but Yan lands a BIG left hand that wakes Aldo up. A BIG leg kick from Aldo drops Yan. Aldo with a body shot that prompts a counter left hook from Yan. Single shots on both sides with a lot of ill intent. Both men showing respect for each other. Yan feints low with a kick and then goes high and Aldo just gets his hands up. Aldo pumping a jab now and setting range. Yan lands a body shot. Yan has a very high guard and he’s not pressuring as much. Aldo lands another good leg kick. Body shot from Aldo and big right hand from Yan that Aldo eats well. Shockingly, Aldo shoots a takedown and lands it but Yan reverses and Aldo goes to his back. Yan starts landing shots and Aldo is hurt! Short time and Yan trying to finish but cannot.

MMAFighting scores the round 10-9 Yan.

Round 2: Aldo was well on his way to an easy round in the books and that takedown cost him the round. Aldo not looking tremendous to start the second. Aldo now seems okay and lands another leg kick. Yan has been continually warned about his fingers. Yan has now switched stances, perhaps because of the kicks and the commentary team suggests Aldo may have broken a rib. Aldo lands another kick. The pace has slowed here. Big left hook to the body from Aldo. Yan swings wildly back. Aldo keeps working leg kicks and that’s a good weapon for him. Yan switches stances and he’s hurt by those kicks. Aldo really picking his shots now and Yan is filling the emptiness with offense. Good body kick from Aldo. Yan lands a leg kick of his own. Aldo looking sharp in the second round. Lands a head kick that has Yan backing up. Yan lands a good right of his own. Aldo rips the body. This is the fight Aldo wants.

MMAFighting scores the round 10-9 Aldo, 19-19 overall.

Round 3: Yan needs to make some adjustments here. But for a shot to the ribs, Aldo would be up 2-0 right now. Yan light on his lead foot to start. Yan steps in and Aldo lands a good knee. Another rib roaster from Aldo and leg kicks and body shots are doing good work for the former champion. Now Yan goes to the body. And again. Yan bringing more. volume in round three. but he’s also reacting to every Aldo feint. Good straight from Aldo to the body has Yan backing up. Aldo is targeting the body now. A three punch combo to the body has Yan hurt! Now Yan separates and throws everything he can into a right hand, perhaps desperation? Aldo slips though. These two guys are fighting in a phone booth and Aldo is working over the body. Yan’s jab from southpaw has been pretty good this round. Aldo still committed to the body work but Yan is starting to come on now. Aldo’s defense is elite though and he’s slipping most of it. A back elbow from Yan lands! That was fun. Aldo lands a three punch combo but Yan counters and may have hurt Aldo! A knee from Aldo lands. Aldo slowing now. Landing more shots but eating more too. The two men end the round in a clinch with Yan landing a big strike.

MMAFighting scores the round 10-9 Aldo, 29-28 Aldo overall.

Round 4: That third round could have gone either way. I favor Aldo’s body work but Yan landed some big shots and judge’s may well have given it to him. Aldo looks a bit refreshed to start the round but Yan is now throwing more combos. Body kick from Yan. Aldo has seemingly abandoned the kicks and Yan is now countering the body shots with hooks of his own. Aldo lands a good step in knee. This fight is filled with momentum swings. Now the two are fighting in even closer quarters and just ripping into each other. Neither man is able to gain a huge advantage but Aldo has abandoned his leg kicks and that’s a terrible idea. Aldo also seems to be slowing. Nevermind, he’s definitely slowing and Yan senses it. Now he’s starting to try and land big shots to dissuade Yan. It’s not working and Aldo is inn full retreat here. Aldo is up against the fence and Yan lands a monster uppercut. Yan grabs a leg and dumps Aldo. Aldo isn’t hurt it doesn’t seem, just his gas tank ran out. Yan is on top and working Aldo over. Aldo is wearing it now. This is a big round for Yan.

MMAFighting scores the round 10-9 Yan, 38-38 overall.

Round 5: The two men have a hug to start the round and the Yan cracks Aldo with a one-two that hurts him! Aldo is still standing but Yan lands another and drops him! Yan is now on top and in half-guard. Aldo is eating some shots here. This fight may not be over, but it’s functionally done. Aldo is in survival mode with four minutes and Yan is not going to let him. Yan is hammering him now. Aldo is busted open and Yan now has S-mount. Yan is smashing him andAldo has nothing left. Now Yan is in backmount and Yan keeps pounding him. This could be stopped at any time. Yan is ruthless here and Aldo is obviously done but the fight continues. This is like 127 unanswered strikes. I have no idea what is going on here because this should’ve stopped 90 seconds ago. Finally, Leon Roberts saves Jose Aldo from himself.

OFFICIAL DECISION: Petr Yan TKOs Jose Aldo with strikes at 3:24 of round five.

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