Peter Yan said prior to UFC 245 that he would be happy to send Urijah Faber back into retirement. He may have done just that.
Faber returned to the Octagon with an impressive win over bantamweight upstart Ricky Simon earlier this year, but it was a much taller order to face the No. 4 ranked Yan.
It didn’t take the Russian fighter long to take control of the Octagon. Faber was never out of the fight, but Yan was in control early, getting the better of the “California Kid” on the feet and fighting tough in the clinch, putting his strength and heavy elbows on display.
Yan dropped Faber midway through the second frame and hit him with several more shots while he was on the canvas, but Faber returned to his feet. Yan continued to put his timing on display and sent Faber back to the mat.
A huge bump quickly swelled below Faber’s left eye. The referee stopped the fight to have it checked by the cageside doctor, but he was allowed to continue.
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To put a stamp on the round, Yan grabbed Faber around the midsection and drug him back to the canvas just before the horn.
Round three didn’t get any better for Faber, as Yan started quick, immediately targeting him with punches and kicks. The two quickly went into a clinch, but after they separated Yan landed a hard right hand and a left kick to Faber’s head that sent him down and put an end to the fight.
The victory was the biggest and perhaps most impressive of Yan’s career, as he improved to 13-1, including winning all five of his UFC bouts, leading him to call out UFC bantamweight champion Henry Cejudo before he exited the Octagon.