Song Yadong got back to winning ways with a dominant display in Las Vegas this morning. He stopped Ricky Simón in the fifth round of a fight he was already winning comfortably.

The Chinese bantamweight had made a slow start with little to choose between the two fighters in the first round. It was clear that Simón wanted to take him down but he was able to stuff the takedowns without ever really getting going with his own offence.

Song landed jabs and low kicks at the start of the second and had Simón hurt after a flurry of hard hooks. He responded with a takedown attempt and the Chinese fighter tried to lock in a guillotine as he defended.

Simón did finally secure a takedown towards the end of the round and landed some hammerfists but his opponent was able to pop back up to his feet. The momentum was clearly with Song at this stage and he would continue to dominate the striking exchanges in the third.

Saved by the bell

Simon scored a takedown at the start of the third but Song was back on his feet again straightaway. He landed high kicks and low kicks before connecting with a hard right hand.

Simon appeared to be running out of ideas at this stage but he came out swinging at the start of the fourth, landing a one two and then attacking with a flying knee. With exactly a second remaining in the round Song landed a left hook which dropped the American and would probably have finished the fight.

But no sooner had Simon’s back crashed into the canvass than the horn sounded to save him from what would most definitely have been further punishment. He had a minute to recover before the final round but was clearly well behind on the scorecards at this stage.

We have seen some dramatic comebacks this year but it took Song less than 30 seconds to hurt Simon with punches again. The American kept coming forwards but it proved to be his undoing.

He ran straight into another left hook and this time the bell was not going to come to Simon’s rescue. Song swarmed all over him with punches and the referee stepped in to save Simon with the finish coming at the 1:10 mark.

Afterwards Song picked up a $50,000 USD performance bonus and bounces back immediately from his loss at UFC Vegas 60. He improves to 20-7-1-1 while his opponent drops to 20-4.


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Best of the rest

The co-main event at the Apex Centre pitted two middleweights together. Caio Borralho (14-1) finished Michał Oleksiejczuk (18-6) midway through the second round, sinking in a rear naked choke.

UFC Vegas 72, Las Vegas, April 29th
Song Yadong def. Ricky Simón via TKO (Punches) at 1:10 of R5
Caio Borralho def. Michał Oleksiejczuk via Submission (Rear-naked choke) at 2:49 of R2
Rodolfo Vieira def. Cody Brundage via Submission (Arm-triangle choke) at 1:28 of R1
Fernando Padilla def. Julian Erosa via TKO (Punches) at 1:41 of R1
Marcos Rogério de Lima def. Waldo Cortes-Acosta via Decision (Unanimous)
Trey Waters def. Joshua Quinlan via Decision (Unanimous)
Martin Buday def. Jake Collier via Decision (Unanimous)
Cody Durden def. Charles Johnson via Decision (Unanimous)
Irina Alekseeva def. Stephanie Egger via Submission (Kneebar) at 2:11 of R1
Marcus McGhee def. Journey Newson via Submission (Rear-naked choke) at 2:03 of R2
Jamey-Lyn Horth def. Hailey Cowan via Decision (Unanimous)