MMA Record: 8-1
UFC Record: Debut
Notable Wins: Magomed Magomedov
Notable Losses: Magomed Magomedov
Last Fight: TKO win over Mattheus Mattos
Fighter Profile: One of the top prospects from ACB in Russia, Yan was the bantamweight champion in that organization and is making his UFC debut with a ton of hype behind him. Yan is a very good young fighter with a well-rounded skillset. He has solid wrestling skills and can control his opponents on the ground and on the feet he has knockout power which he showed in his last fight. He also has really good cardio and a good chin. He showed lots of promise in ACB, so now let’s see what he does in the UFC.
MMA Record: 10-5-2
UFC Record: 3-31
Notable Wins: Rolando Dy
Notable Losses: Gray Maynard, Artem Lobov
Last Fight: Decision loss to Jose Quinonez
Fighter Profile: A veteran of Road to UFC: Japan, Ishihara has had an up-and-down tenure so far in the UFC. After fighting to a draw against veteran Mizuto Hirota in his UFC debut, Ishihara scored two quick knockouts and was starting to look like a serious featherweight prospect. But since then he’s been exposed as a one-dimensional fighter with bad striking defense and bad takedown defense and he’s lost three of his last four fights. He recently dropped down to bantamweight and lost his debut in his new weight class but will be looking to bounce back and get back on track in what could be a must-win fight against Yan.
Fight Breakdown: I think Yan is one of the best bantameight prospects in the UFC right now, and that’s saying a lot considering the talent that has entered the division in recent years. He’s a very well-rounded fighter and has the potential to be something special at 135lbs. Ishihara has looked good at times in the UFC but ultimately he is just too inconsistent. He has too many flaws in his game and you can’t count on him to fight smart. It really looks like the UFC is using Ishihara as a gatekeeper here to see what Yan has in his toolbag. I have seen him fight and really like his skillset, and I think he takes it to Ishihara in a winning UFC debut. To Ishihara’s credit he is a durable fighter and may be able to survive the full 15 minutes, but I think Yan dominates this fight and wins his debut.
Prediction: Petr Yan via decision