A victory over big-show veteran Paul Daley ultimately proved to be Alexander Yakovlev’s ticket to the UFC.
The Russian welterweight has signed a six-fight deal with the UFC, his manager, Doug Wilson, confirmed with MMAjunkie. The fighter’s team at K Dojo Warrior Tribe tweeted the news earlier today.
The 29-year-old enters the organization with a solid 21-4-1 record. He’s won three straight, including a unanimous decision over Daley in November, and is 8-1-1 since 2010.
Of his 21 wins, 16 have come via stoppage (eight knockouts and eight submissions).
MMAjunkie recently profiled Yakovlev as part of our Fight Path series. Earlier this month, the 10-year vet said his ultimate goal was to sign with the UFC, which has added a number of Russian fighters over the past year. In fact, it was another Russian (and early UFC star) who inspired Yakovlev’s fighting career.
“My first introduction to MMA was in 1997, when I first saw a video tape of UFC,” he said. “One fight that impressed me very much was Oleg Taktarov and Tank Abbott in the finals of UFC 6, where Oleg won in a very tough bout and became the champion. So then I thought I would like to try MMA myself someday. In time, the idea became my reality.”
The fighter’s debut fight with the UFC hasn’t been announced.