Round 5 of Petr Yan vs. Jose Aldo was painful to watch. Aldo's fans - which is everyone, including Yan - saw the inaugural UFC featherweight champion sustaining extended punishment without offering intelligent defense, before veteran referee Leon Roberts finally stopped the fight awarding Yan the TKO.
There was widespread expression, including from the commentary booth, that the fight needed to be stopped early, but at the post-fight press conference, Yan did not agree.
“I think everything was right,” Yan said. “It was a championship fight between two warriors. Just not to leave any questions behind, the referee made that choice.”
“I’m certainly happy to win this belt in such difficult times. It was my longterm goal. … Everything went excellent. We knew it was going to be a tough fight, but I had everything perfect.”
“I want to take a rest now, recover, go back to my homeland to see my family, and then it’s the work of my management team. In my first 18 months, I had six fights. I’ve never said no to an offer, so I’ll probably find out soon. … I think October will be a perfect time [for his first title defense].”
“I think Aljamain Sterling deserves to fight for the title. He’s on a good streak. He beat a lot of good guys.”