The confrontation between Peter Jan and Jose Aldo in the framework of UFC 251 promised to be, if not the most striking, then at least extremely intense and interesting. There were several reasons for considering this battle one of the main decorations of the tournament. Firstly, it met the rising star of MMA and the legend of sports, whose name is largely associated with light weight categories. Secondly, although both fighters represent different disciplines, they are experts in percussion technique and prefer to fight in a stance. This practically guaranteed that the fans would see a dynamic spectacle, and the result of the battle could well be a knockout.
Despite the Brazilian regalia, on the eve of the fight, many experts gave preference to the Russian. Its advantages included speed, sharpness and the ability to impose your own fighting style. Ian managed to accustom everyone to the fact that he always goes ahead and actively presses his opponent, preventing him from feeling comfortable in the octagon. This was especially important in the battle with Aldo, who is famous for his ability to “shut off oxygen” to his opponent and replay him tactically. It is enough to recall his battles with Frankie Edgar.
In this regard, the main question was whether Ian would be able to dominate Aldo, like the star Yurai Faber and John Dodson, or whether he would share the fate of Edgar and Chad Mendes. Like Peter, they were inferior to Jose in anthropometry and could not get to the distance convenient for them, because of which they missed too many hits. And this despite the fact that both Americans were famous for their wrestling qualities and could threaten the Brazilian with takedowns.
Surely someone could be afraid that Jan with excessive reverence would relate to the legend of mixed martial arts, with which he had time to work out together. In 2016, a Russian visited a Brazilian camp and even sparred with him. But the third number of the division assured that this would not happen, and also noted separately that such an acquaintance would not help Aldo in any way. According to Peter, from that moment he made great progress, while Jose remained at the same level.
Already in the first minutes of the fight, it became clear that the Russian was not at all afraid of the ex-champion of UFC and WEC. He tried to work with combinations and during one of the attacks, he felt the jaw of a Brazilian. True, by the end of the round, Peter allowed Jose to take a position in the center of the octagon and took on several hard low-kicks. As a result of one of them, he was on the floor, but quickly got to his feet. And the last 30 seconds were left completely behind him. Ian stopped Aldo's unexpected attempt to take a takedown and punished him for his rash action by demonstrating his ground and pound skills. The blow to the corps turned out to be especially tough, and at one moment it even seemed that the referee Roberts could stop the fight.
In the second five-minute period, Jan did not immediately give in to Aldo's center of the cell and tried to actively suppress it, but after a minute he again went into the defense. The reason for this was the Brazilian branded counterattacks, which were his main weapon throughout his career. He kept the Russians at a distance with the help of the jab and the right straight, alternating his work with his hands with painful low-kicks. In this regard, Peter had to change the racks over and over again to protect his legs from damage.
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The Russian himself looked a little lost. Sometimes there was a deceptive impression that he could not find a distance, and attempts to act from a jump did not bring him success. Ian often failed and allowed Aldo to conduct series at close range. The optimistic mood was tuned by how painfully Jose reacted to blows to the body. Even at the end of the first segment of the bout, there was a feeling that he could get an injury to the ribs, which was subsequently confirmed more and more.
Peter needed to make adjustments, but they became noticeable only in the second half of the third five-minute period. In the first, he missed a series of punches and was very close to a knockdown, but survived. However, then the Brazilian suddenly slowed down and became significantly less active. This instantly took advantage of Jan, noticeably interrupting the opponent. Branded combinations of hooks on the body and head went into action, and one of the most striking episodes was a sweeping elbow strike from a reversal. At one point, Jose noticeably staggered, but did not fall.
In the fourth round, Aldo's actions became more and more noticeable fatigue. He less confidently kept the enemy at a distance and increasingly tried to clinch. The Brazilian is very strong in Muay Thai, and it could be assumed that in this aspect he will surpass the Russian. However, in reality, everything turned out differently. Ian felt very good in this environment, and at the exit from the grabs he regularly managed to mark several hits. The ending was again left to Peter, who first conducted a series of sweeping uppercuts, and then, with a spectacular cut, laid Jose on canvas and began to attack from the full guard.
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The final round turned into a real nightmare for the illustrious veteran. Already in the debut, Jan laid Aldo on the floor with a spectacular sweep and began to finish it off on the ground. The Brazilian was under a hail of blows and after a few seconds his face was covered in blood. Several times the referee had every reason to stop the slaughter, but Jose did not give up and continued to indicate if not activity, then at least resistance. But 1 minute 36 seconds before the gong, it became obvious that he was no longer able to fight. Roberts stopped the beating and declared Peter the new bantamweight champion.
Ian won the 15th career victory and the seventh consecutive victory under the auspices of the UFC, becoming the second Russian champion in the Absolute Fighting Championship in history. He made up the company Khabib Nurmagomedov, who in April 2018 took the lightweight title. At the end of the duel, the Russian was extremely correct and respectfully spoke about his counterpart.
“I knew that it would be a very strong rival. A very serious confrontation. Therefore, they did not force it. Slightly beat off his front leg, had to fight through pain. Not in his stance - left-sided. But thank you all very much. We did it, ”said Yang.
The Russian athlete confirmed that his coaching staff recommended that he not force the duel, but at first act as the second number.
“Yes, the task was to crush in the first rounds, but to let him work. And from the third five-minute turn on. And so it happened. He got tired, and we began to disassemble it, ”added Jan.
He also thanked his wife Julia for his support and admitted that the birth of a second child was a serious motivation for him in anticipation of the title battle.
“I want to say many thanks to my wife. She's smart with me. This is very motivating when you had a son born shortly before the fight. Thank you all for your congratulations, to all my fans. Love, appreciate, respect, ”concluded Yang.