The opening match of UFC 245 between Urijah Faber and Petr Yan ended with a Russian fighter’s dominant win. The No.4 contender in the bantamweight rankings showcased why he earned the nickname No Mercy, by severely hurting one of the crowd’s favorites and stopping the fight in the 32nd second of the third round.
Yan (14-1) posted his 8th win in a row, and after defeating John Dodson and Jimmie Rivera added another big name to his CV. Meanwhile, Faber (35-11), at 40-years of age, couldn’t resist 14 years younger rival, who is yet to reach his peak.
— UFC Español (@UFCEspanol) December 15, 2019
The first round started with both fighters being very cautious in the middle of the ring, now wanting to risk anything and attack first. Faber sent a stepping knee midway through the first, but it didn’t hurt the Russian whose chin took it easily. Yan meanwhile kicked Faber in the body once and posted one beautiful uppercut, and as time went by indicated that he might take over the initiative.
Which eventually happened. Faber tried to pressure his rival, but it was a trap in which he rushed in. Yan allowed him to be comfortable before rolling over the American. After one of Faber’s takedown attempt and a right-hand try, Yan just smiled before he sent a vicious one-two jab combination which sent his rival on the canvas.
In the next two minutes, No Mercy demolished Faber’s face that much, that the doctor had to come in and asses the degree of the injury. Yan’s right elbow created a hematoma near Faber’s left eye and sent him on the ground for the second time in this contest.
— Kyle Johnson (@VonPreux) December 15, 2019
With 32 seconds into the third round, Yan showed why he is one of the biggest candidates to dethrone Henry Cejudo. He would send a left high-kick to Faber’s head from inside the clinch, putting an end to this bout.
“It is my usual kick,” Yan said. “Something I do all the time.”
The crowd was rooting very loud for Faber, and often during the fights chants “USA, USA” overwhelmed the T-Mobile Arena. However, that didn’t bother the Russian, who had one interesting statement during the interview. He told that all those who supported Faber today, are going to root for him in the future. Also, he didn’t miss a chance to call out Henry Cejudo during the interview in the octagon.
“I want Cejudo, the Triple Clown,” Yan concluded his talk.
It is more than obvious that Faber can’t compete against the elite fighters in his division. His age is the biggest enemy, and combined with a ferocious rival like Yan is, he simply didn’t have any chances to win this fight. All his dreams about a possible title-eliminator bout are now over, and we might see him retiring pretty soon.
Yan, on the other side, will have his chance soon enough. Cejudo recently told that he might drop one of his two belts, and if he decides that to be the bantamweight, it would open a door for UFC to organize a bout for the vacant title. Yan, would no doubt be on the top of the list of the potential candidates along with Marlon Moraes, Jose Aldo and Aljmain Sterling. Given the circumstance, it wouldn’t be odd to see Dana White organizing some kind of a tournament between all these guys.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.