The roar of the crowd was deafening when hometown hero Song Kenan entered the octagon to compete last August. He credits the Chinese fans for inspiring him to the best performance of his professional career at UFC Shenzhen.

Buoyed by the support from his countrymen, he carved out a hard-earned unanimous decision victory against Derrick Krantz inside the packed Universiade Sports Centre. It was an evening that would forever be etched in Song’s mind,

“When I walked into the cage in that bout, I was very, very happy and proud. Everyone in the arena cheered for me, and it had become an added motivation. I felt fired up when hearing such massive support from my people,” he said through his translator

“Things like that do not only encourage me to win, but to also keep getting better and better as a fighter. It makes me obsessed to keep on winning,” Song added.

Absolutely ready

Having felt the euphoria of getting his hand raised in triumph at home for the second time under the UFC banner, Song cannot wait to demonstrate what more he can do in his next assignment.

The 29-year-old Hebei native returns to action on Sunday and is set to square off with Australian stalwart Callan Potter in a three-round welterweight showdown at UFC Auckland.

“I am absolutely ready for my next bout. I have trained everyday, and my focus is on the fight only. I am working a lot on my grappling, while sharpening my skills in the stand-up. Since my last fight, I have improved so much,” Song shared.

Song is determined to not only walk away with the win but to set out on a winning streak that can take him all the way to his division’s summit,

“I intend to use this victory to begin another winning streak in the UFC because I am actually aiming to enter the division rankings before the year ends. This is a big step in my career. I want to take that opportunity and prove to myself that I still can be a winner on the international stage,” he explained.

Skills and spirit

Song’s upcoming opponent may be one of the most talented and experienced competitors that he has ever faced in his nearly six-year run in the sport, but the Chinese standout believes that he is more than a match for him.

If there is one area where Song feels he has an advantage over Potter, it is his finishing ability. Though he does not want to say whether he expects to score a jaw-dropping stoppage victory in Auckland, ‘The Assassin’ clearly has confidence in his abilities.

“I know I am a better striker, but I won’t make a prediction for this match. I think all I have to do is focus on myself, and give what I have been trained. I will show my skills and my spirit,” he said.

Song knows that he cannot underestimate the challenge he has to overcome, but he seems to be approaching it with the right mindset.

“Seeing positive results inspire you to push yourself more to the limit. My win in China last August is just the beginning. Expect a lot more from me. I will make sure that I will win again this weekend,” he ended.