From Siberia to UFC royalty.

Petr Yan stopped the legendary Jose Aldo by TKO at three minutes, 24 seconds of the fifth spherical Sunday morning in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, to win the vacant UFC bantamweight title.

Yan, who was born within the Russian metropolis of Krasnoyarsk, dropped Aldo with a mixture early within the remaining spherical after which poured it on as soon as on the bottom.

Yan landed dozens of unanswered blows on the bottom, leaving Aldo facedown in his personal blood earlier than referee Leon Roberts stepped in to name it. The end was the newest in UFC bantamweight title historical past.

“To start with, I wished to place stress on him, make him drained after which begin attacking after the third spherical. That is precisely what occurred,” Yan stated via an interpreter. “Within the first and second spherical, he had laborious punches and low kicks. I waited and pressured him. After the second spherical, I began to work. It was knockout. I preferred it.”

The bout came about on the lately constructed Flash Discussion board on Yas Island, which the UFC has dubbed “Struggle Island” for 4 occasions this month. The venue is a part of a “protected zone” amid the coronavirus pandemic, the place solely those that have been examined a number of instances for COVID-19 are allowed, together with members of the UFC touring get together and native staff.

The bantamweight belt was vacated when Henry Cejudo surprisingly introduced his retirement following a profitable title protection over Dominick Cruz at UFC 249 on Could 8.

Yan is just the second Russian fighter to win UFC gold, becoming a member of present light-weight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. Coming in, ESPN had Yan ranked No. three and Aldo ranked No. 5 amongst MMA bantamweight fighters.

Yan landed 194 important strikes, essentially the most in a single battle within the historical past of the UFC bantamweight division, per ESPN Stats & Data information. Nevertheless it wasn’t a straightforward path to profitable the title.

Within the first spherical, Yan damage Aldo with a physique kick, after which, after Aldo failed on a takedown try, Yan practically completed with a tough shot to Aldo’s physique on the bottom. Aldo survived, although, and got here again with a wonderful second spherical, utilizing laborious leg kicks and physique punches.

The third spherical was extra of the identical for a bit. It appeared Aldo had made the right changes and did strong harm towards Yan with laborious combos. However within the remaining 90 seconds of the spherical, Yan took over. Switching backwards and forwards from orthodox to southpaw, Yan landed a spinning again elbow, lengthy combos, one other elbow and laborious physique kicks.

By the point the fourth began, Yan was in whole management. Aldo’s nostril was bleeding, and he was making an attempt to outlive, evading and backpedaling from a urgent Yan. Within the fifth, Yan received Aldo up towards the cage and dropped him with laborious punches, together with two massive uppercuts. It was over shortly thereafter.

UFC president Dana White, in his postfight information convention, known as the referee’s stoppage “a horrible stoppage.”

“It ought to have been stopped sooner,” White stated.

Yan landed 62 important strikes within the fifth spherical — greater than Aldo had absorbed in his 9 earlier UFC fights.

Aldo is arguably the best featherweight fighter in MMA historical past. He held the UFC/WEC featherweight belt from 2009 to 2015 with a division-record seven title fights.

“It’s a loopy scenario on this planet to organize for this battle,” Yan stated. “The world was closed, however we labored laborious to organize. Aldo is a legend. I’ve solely respect for him.”

White stated he thought Yan “appeared good,” and that Aldo “appeared nice for individuals criticizing him and saying he did not deserve one other title shot.”

Yan (15-1) has gained 10 straight, together with his first seven within the UFC. “No Mercy” is now tied for the longest profitable streak in UFC bantamweight historical past. Yan, 27, was coming off a third-round knockout of UFC Corridor of Famer Urijah Faber at UFC 245 in December.

Yan stated he believes Aljamain Sterling must be subsequent for a title shot.

Aldo (28-7) has misplaced three straight and has not gained since February 2019. The Brazil native is now 0-2 since shifting all the way down to bantamweight. Aldo, 33, owns profession wins over former champions Frankie Edgar and Faber, in addition to “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung.