Cory Sandhagen and Song Yadong put on a violent show in the main event of UFC Vegas 60 with the American taking the win via doctor’s stoppage after four rounds of high-level action. The American was coming off of back-to-back losses against two former champions but returned to the win column in impressive fashion here.

Yadong came into the fight on the back of two straight victories and was game as ever only for a nasty gash above his left eye to ultimately bring a stop to the contest. Sandhagen has now succeeded in knocking out his last three opponents.

The Chinese fighter arguably edged the opening two rounds with good forward pressure and backed his opponent up with a big left hand early in the second. The threat of takedowns from Sandhagen clearly disrupted Song’s rhythm but it was another weapon that would prove decisive.

Blood flowing

A step through elbow opened up the initial cut with around three minutes gone in round two and Song had the cut man to thank for keeping the wound at bay for the best part of two rounds. Sandhagen stepped his output up a gear in the third with blood flowing freely from his opponent’s face.

Showcasing a variety of different strikes, the 30 year old ended the round with a beautiful left body shot to the liver followed by a signature jumping knee. The cut man was again forced to work his magic heading into the fourth.

To his credit, Song marched forward and landed some big right hands. But as he caught a kick and landed in top position the two men clashes heads with the collision causing the pre existing cut to open up.

Tactical approach

Having already warned that the fight would be stopped if it got any worse, the doctor had seen enough by the end of the fourth and Herb Dean was called to stop the fight. Sandhagen improves to to 15-4 and is in contention for a title shot while Song slips to 19-7-1.

Speaking during his post-fight interview, Sandhagen said,

“I robbed the guy of his power (with takedown attempts). He’s a hell of a striker … the intention wasn’t to get the takedown the whole time, it was just win the little minutes. That’s how you kind of win in MMA, so I’m trying to play the sport part of the game now, too.”

Best of the rest

There was an important victory for Loma Lookboonmee on the prelims. The UFC’s first-ever Thai fighter bounced back from her loss to Lupita Godinez last year to defeat Denise Gomes via unanimous decision. The 26-year-old has now won three of her last four fights and her record climbs to 7-3 while her opponent drops to 6-2.

Elsewhere Javid Basharat (13-0) remained undefeated as he got the nod from the judges against Tony Gravely (23-8). The Afghan now has two straight wins inside the octagon and was recently joined on the roster by his brother Farid Basharat.

UFC Vegas 60, Las Vegas, 18th September
Cory Sandhagen defeated Song Yadong via TKO (doctor stoppage) at 5:00 of round 4
Gregory Rodrigues defeated Chidi Njoukuani via TKO (strikes) at 1:27 of round 2
Andre Fili defeated Bill Algeo via split decision
Joseph Pyfer defeated Alen Amedovski via KO (punches) at 3:55 of round 1
Rodrigo Nascimento defeated Tanner Boser via split decision
Anthony Hernandez defeated Marc-Andre Barriault via submission (arm-triangle choke) at 1:53 of round 3
Damon Jackson defeated Pat Sabatini via TKO (punches) at 1:09 of round 1
Trevin Giles defeated Louis Cosce via unanimous decision
Loma Lookboonmee defeated Denise Gomes via unanimous decision
Trey Ogden defeated Daniel Zellhuber via unanimous decision
Gillian Robertson defeated Mariya Agapova via submission (rear naked choke) at 2:19 of round 2
Javif Basharat defeated Tony Gravely via unanimous decision
Nikolas Motta defeated Cameron VanCamp via TKO (punches) at 3:49 of round 1