Song Yadong has been handed a quick turnaround. Coming off a split decision win over Casey Kenney at UFC 265 in August he will be back in action against Julio Arce this weekend.

The Chinese fighter is reaping the benefit of being based in the US. Living and training in Sacramento has helped him get in three fights in 2021, the most he has managed in a calendar year since signing for the UFC in 2017.

He says being based permanently in the US has made life much easier,

“The whole process has been really convenient just staying over here. I have a lot of friends coming over that have to deal with visa issues and the time difference and stuff like that. It feels good to just stay over here and train.”

Hidden talent

He is not happy about having won his last fight by split decision. Yadong thinks he should have finished the fight,

“I feel kind of ashamed because I feel like if I had pushed him a little more, I would have been able to knock him out in the third round,” he said.

Yadong also feels that UFC fans have not seen what he is really capable of yet,

“I have a lot of things I’ve been doing in training that I haven’t gotten a chance to show the audience.”

Dangerous opponent

But Arce, whose record is almost identical to Yadong’s, is clearly a threat and the Chinese fighter is not going to throw caution to the wind,

“I’m going to be more careful. I feel like he’s more dangerous than Casey Kenney. I need to be more focused.”

However he is already looking at the upper echelons of the division and wants to face ranked opponents in 2022,

“I want to showcase my speed and power. I want to put on a great performance. If I can finish him quick, I would like to fight a ranked opponent ASAP.”

Having seen recent fights end in split decision and majority decision verdicts Yadong knows full well the risks involved in letting the judges decide a fight. It is something he doesn’t want to do this weekend and the Chinese fighter is convinced he will be able to find a finish at UFC Vegas 42,

“I know I have the knockout power. I know if I just do what I do, I will be able to knock him out.”