Sign up for ESPN+ right here, and you can then stream UFC 259 live on your smart TV, computer, phone, tablet or streaming device via the ESPN app.
Petr Yan probably welcomes the invisible target on his back.
The stoic American Top Team rep will defend his undisputed Ultimate Fighting Championship bantamweight title for the first time when he faces Aljamain Sterling in a UFC 259 co-feature on Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. Yan enters the cage on a 10-fight winning streak. He last appeared at UFC 251, where he buried Jose Aldo with fifth-round punches to capture the vacant 135-pound championship on July 11. Sterling, meanwhile, has rattled off five straight wins. He last competed at UFC 250 in June, when he submitted Corey Sandhagen with a rear-naked choke just 88 seconds into their confrontation.
As Yan and Sterling prepare for their five-round battle, a look at some of the numbers that have accompanied them to this point:
28: Years of age for Yan, who was born on Feb. 11, 1993 in Dudinka, Russia—more than 5,000 miles from UFC headquarters in Las Vegas.
8: Knockdowns landed by Yan as a UFC bantamweight, tying him with former World Extreme Cagefighting champion Eddie Wineland for third on the promotion’s all-time list at 135 pounds. Only T.J. Dillashaw (nine) and Cody Garbrandt (nine) have more.
5: Countries in which Yan has competed as a mixed martial artist. He has gone 9-1 in Russia, 3-0 in the United States, 1-0 in the United Arab Emirates, 1-0 in the Czech Republic and 1-0 in Singapore.
258: Total strikes landed by Yan in his aforementioned rout of Aldo. It established a UFC single-fight record in the category. The previous mark belonged to Aaron Phillips, who connected with 230 of them in a unanimous decision defeat to Matt Hobar at UFC Fight Night 49 on Aug. 23, 2014.
7: Yan victories by knockout or technical knockout, accounting for 47% of his career total (15). His list of victims includes Urijah Faber, Douglas Silva de Andrade, Teruto Ishihara and Matheus Mattos. Yan owns one other win by submission and seven more by decision.
31: Years of age for Sterling, who was born in Uniondale, New York, on July 31, 1989. “Turner & Hooch,” “Lethal Weapon 2,” “Batman,” “When Harry Met Sally…” and “Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan” were the Top 5 movies at the domestic box office at the time.
1,102: Total strikes landed by Sterling as a UFC bantamweight, placing him second on the promotion’s all-time list at 135 pounds. Only Dillashaw has been credited with more (1,340).
4: First-round finishes on the Sterling resume. In addition to his aforementioned victory over Sandhagen, he put away Harley Leimbach with a rear-naked choke 4:01 into their May 21, 2011 encounter, cut down Evan Chmielski with punches 4:58 into their July 23, 2011 clash and submitted Joel Roberts with a rear-naked choke 1:49 into their Nov. 2, 2013 pairing.
.735: Cumulative winning percentage between the three men—Bryan Caraway, Raphael Assuncao and Marlon Moraes—who have managed to beat Sterling. They own a combined record of 72-25-1.
230: Significant strikes by which Sterling has outlanded the opposition during his five-fight winning streak. He has connected with 399 of them, while absorbing only 169 in return.