For the Chinese mixed martial artists UFC Fight Night 141 was far from a disappointing night. But Kenan Song could not share in the celebrations as he was one of only two local fighters to lose on that card.

The 29 year old has not fought since but will have another opportunity to win on home soil when he faces Derrick Krantz at UFC Fight Night 157 on Saturday. Song has won two out of his three UFC fights but is not expecting an easy ride this weekend,

“I think he is strong, he is a tough guy and he’s a black belt. I think he’s a very good opponent. Maybe this is going to be a tough fight,” he said.

He’s had plenty of time to reflect on his last performance after the long layoff. Song dropped a decision to Alex Morono in Beijing and looking back at that performance he doesn’t see too many positives,

“From my last fight I can say that my movement is quite slow and my feet didn’t change very quickly. My timing was off and I did not show any progress.”

Top teammates

The atmosphere at UFC Fight Night 141 was electric and Song did at least get to see teammate Jingliang Li register a win. The two welterweights train together at China Top Team although it is the latter who has established himself as a mainstay in the 170lbs division.

Li had already been a UFC fighter for three years when Song was picked up by the promotion but he cites his teammate as a major influence and is proud to be training and fighting alongside him,

“Since I started training MMA, I was training with Leech and he was alongside me, and I want to be a person like him.”

Bonus hunter

While Weili Zhang is training at a different camp it is fair to say that the Chinese fighters are firmly behind her. She is the first mixed martial artist from the country to challenge for a UFC belt and Song wants to see her succeed,

“After many years this is the first time the Chinese people can get a title challenger so this is very important and very exciting for Chinese people. I hope Zhang Weili will win and get the belt.”

Jingliang has picked up five bonuses so far in his UFC career. Song also walked away with a $50,000 cheque after his last performance and is well aware that he has an obligation to entertain,

“I care about both winning and entertaining. I want to win the fight and I want a bonus!”

The 29 year old signed for the UFC relatively late in life but there are some exciting fights in the welterweight division. Song is not exactly lacking in ambition, and he hopes a win in Shenzhen will be the start of a streak that culminates in a title shot,

“I want to do this as long as I can. I wish I can make a good fight every time. And I wish I could be one of the top 15, and even better if I can get to the belt even though I know this is very tough. But this is the challenge for me.”