UFC Fight Island is real and the first event has a stacked card top to bottom. The event will be UFC 251 on July 11, and Fight Island is Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. The card will have three title fights, the first of which will be a bout for the vacant bantamweight strap between Petr “No Mercy” Yan and former featherweight king Jose Aldo.
Online sportsbook Sportsbook has released odds for this bantamweight championship fight and has listed Yan as a -210 favorite with Aldo coming back as a +170 underdog.
Odds as of July 10 at Sportsbook
Despite having sizable -210 odds in this bout, these are the longest odds Yan has had in his six-fight UFC career. He is a perfect 6-0 over that span with three knockout wins and three decision victories. No Mercy has had an average closing line of -569 so seeing a line of -210 actually seems like good value for the 27-year-old Russian.
A similar story regarding the odds can be written about Jose Aldo’s UFC career. The former featherweight champion has been favored in 11 of his 15 bouts in the Octagon, where he holds a record of 10-5 and made six title defenses. In the four scraps in which the 33-year-old Brazilian has entered the cage as an underdog, only once was he more of an underdog than he will be against Yan – he closed as a +240 dog in his title rematch with Max Holloway in 2017.
How Will This Fight Play Out?
Yan is a very well-rounded mixed martial artist, possessing high-level boxing skills with thunder in his hands, while also having good grappling skills. Of his 14 professional wins, six have been by knockout, but he has also landed at least one takedown in each of his last four fights and averages 1.73 takedowns per 15 minutes. No Mercy is very aggressive, always moving forward to get into a striking exchange. Sometimes he lunges when trying to measure his opponents but if they move into his range, he picks them apart.
Aldo is primarily a striker but an elite-level one at that. This is evident in his record, which shows 17 of his 28 pro wins coming by knockout. He is extremely aggressive, stalking his opponents and not giving them any room to breathe. Good luck trying to drag him to the floor – he has only been taken down once over his last eight fights and stuffs 91 percent of takedown attempts. Aldo’s best weapon is his kicks but he has strayed away from those recently, which has left many scratching their heads.
This could be a wild brawl for five full rounds with two fantastic strikers. I think that Yan has a better chin than Aldo, but the former featherweight champ likely has a little more power and perhaps has the edge in conditioning as well. The odds are a little out of whack – Aldo looked great in his controversial loss to Marlon Moraes in his bantamweight debut, and this will be Yan’s toughest test in the UFC by far. I figured the line would be a lot closer, though the Russian should still be the favorite and I think he gets the win.