UFC 251: Aldo v Yan odds and predictions
Jack Green is predicting a finish in his UFC tips for the third title fight on the card at Fight Island on Saturday night.
Aldo v Yan odds:
A legend like Jose Aldo fighting for a belt would be the headliner on most UFC cards, but the Brazilian’s shot at the vacant bantamweight title is just third on the bill at Saturday night’s stacked Fight Island event.
It has been four-and-a-half years since Aldo lost in the UFC for the first time, dropping the featherweight title to Conor McGregor in just 13 seconds, and his results since that night have been mixed.
The 33-year-old won the belt back against Frankie Edgar in July of 2016 before being stopped in back-to-back title fights by Max Holloway.
Aldo rebounded by beating Jeremy Stephens and Renato Moicano, but defeats in his last two fights against Alexander Volkanovski and Marlon Moraes – the latter of which was his bantamweight debut – have left many questioning why he has been handed a title shot.
It’s no surprise that he’s the underdog to take the title against the thoroughly impressive Petr Yan.
The Russian is currently on a nine-fight winning streak, including six wins out of six in the UFC.
His most impressive win came in his last fight at UFC 245 in December, when he knocked out Urijah Faber – an old foe of Aldo’s – with a stunning head kick.
The 27-year-old hasn’t looked troubled in his UFC career yet and is deservedly the favourite.
Aldo v Yan predictions:
In his prime, Aldo was a fantastic defensive striker and wrestler who chopped at his opponents with leg kicks and baited them into positions where he could counter punch.
In recent years, though, he has lost some of his speed and is much more reliant on brawling with his heavy hands.
That tactic worked in TKO wins over Moicano and Stephens, but Aldo looked a step too slow in his two most recent defeats.
Dropping down to bantamweight means facing naturally faster fighters, and that was clear in the former champion’s loss to the speedy Moraes, as Aldo struggled to land shots in the crucial final round of a split decision.
Yan will make Aldo pay if he simply plods forward and throws bombs.
The Russian’s blend of power and precision is reminiscent of a young Aldo, and he looked in full control in his win over Faber.
This is certainly a step up for the 27-year-old, but Aldo is ultimately just another fading star in his way and it’s hard to see how the older man will cope with Yan’s relentless pressure and precision.
Aldo failed to deal with a similar style against Max Holloway, and he’ll likely be stopped in this bout just as he was in both of those fights.
Yan to win by KO, TKO or DQ
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