Yan’s the man: Dana White says Russian star Petr Yan will fight Jose Aldo for the vacant UFC bantamweight title (VIDEO)
One of Russia’s top fighters will get his shot at UFC championship gold, with UFC president Dana White revealing the promotion is planning a bantamweight title fight between Petr Yan and Jose Aldo.
Speaking to ESPN on Wednesday night, White revealed the UFC’s plans to move on swiftly following bantamweight champion Henry Cejudo’s retirement at UFC 249 earlier this month.
“I’ll break this right here and right now – and my people are probably going to kill me for this one,” said White.
“Cejudo has retired, so we’re talking right now about Petr Yan vs. Jose Aldo for the vacant title.
“My people are probably going to kill me for this one…”@danawhite spilled the beans on trying to put together @PetrYanUFC vs. @josealdojunior for the vacant UFC bantamweight title 😏 (via @SportsCenter) pic.twitter.com/AIcd3lLIlD
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) May 27, 2020
“We don’t have a date or a place set for that, but that’s the fight we’re looking at right now.”
Yan’s choice as one of the top contenders for the belt is a straightforward one. The former ACB champion has been perfect in the octagon since signing for the UFC back in 2018.
After knocking out Teruto Ishihara and outpointing Jin Soo Son in his first two fights, Cejudo defeated a quartet of bantamweight contenders to cement his spot as one of the most dangerous threats to the title.
Wins over Douglas Silva de Andrade, John Dodson, Jimmie Rivera and Urijah Faber demonstrated Yan’s all-round MMA abilities, and his clinical, dominant finish of MMA legend Faber, who had only been finished once before in his UFC career, proved that “No Mercy” was ready for a title shot.
Now it looks like he’ll get his shot against a legend of the octagon. Jose Aldo was the all-conquering WEC and UFC featherweight champion, and held championship gold for a combined seven years across the two promotions before eventually losing to Conor McGregor at UFC 194.
Since then Aldo has fought twice for featherweight title, losing on both occasions to Max Holloway and, after losing to future champion Alexander Volkanovski, Aldo took the decision to drop to 135 pounds.
His divisional debut took place at UFC 245 last December where he was controversially edged out by fellow countryman Marlon Moraes. But UFC president White said he felt Aldo had done enough to be on the winning end of the split-decision verdict, and has since booked him as if he had won that fight.
Initially, Aldo was set to challenge Henry Cejudo for the title, only for the coronavirus travel restrictions to put a stop to those plans. But it seems Aldo will still get his shot at the bantamweight title, with the UFC looking to lock in a fight with Yan for the newly-vacated belt later this summer.
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