Surging Russian contender Petr Yan will look to comply with within the footsteps of his fellow countryman Khabib Nurmagomedov as he bids to seize UFC championship gold at his first try.

Yan (14-1 MMA, 6-Zero UFC) will tackle two-time former UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo (28-6 MMA, 10-5 UFC) for the vacant bantamweight title on the primary card of UFC 251, which takes place Saturday at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. The principle card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and ESPN+.

The battle will see one of many rising stars of Russian MMA tackle a bonafide legend of the game, and a fighter who can be competing in his 15th main MMA title battle. Forward of their highly-anticipated bantamweight title conflict, we check out 5 fights which have helped outline Yan’s MMA profession to this point.

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Magomed Magomedov at ‘ACB 32: The Battle of the Lions’ – March 26, 2016

After profitable the bantamweight grand prix in Russian promotion ACB, Yan was handed a shot on the vacant bantamweight title, in opposition to the extra skilled 11-Zero contender Magomed Magomedov. However, regardless of conceding the expertise benefit to his opponent, Yan confirmed his all-action combating fashion to the fullest right away traditional in Moscow.

Whereas Magomedov appeared to relentlessly get the battle to the mat, the place his grappling abilities might take over, Yan confirmed excellent footwork and scrambling capability as he turned the battle right into a wild back-and-forth scrap that left each males bloodied over 5 thrilling rounds.

It appeared like Yan was all set to say victory when, after what seemed to be an innocuous conflict of heads, the referee halted the competition with simply seconds remaining and penalized Yan with a yellow card for a headbutt.

That sanction proved decisive, as Yan misplaced out by way of a controversial cut up resolution, and Magomedov claimed the vacant 135-pound strap. There have been instant requires a rematch, however Yan must watch for a 12 months, and defeat British contender Ed Arthur, earlier than getting his want.

Subsequent up: “Payback”