Song Yadong will headline a UFC card for the second time this weekend. He faces Ricky Simón at the Apex Centre and will be looking to fare better than he did last time out,

Yadong was stopped by Cory Sandhagen in the fourth round of a bloody fight in the same venue. He received some serious damage to his face but eight months later the Chinese bantamweight is ready to step back into the octagon again.

He faces a different sort of challenge from Simón. Yadong expects the #10 ranked bantamweight to try to take him down but but doesn’t believe he will be able to keep him there,

“He’s a wrestler, he likes to take people down but his ground control is not that good. If he takes me down, I can get up, for sure,” he told


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Crucial test

Yadong does not come from a wrestling background himself. But he knows that many of the top bantamweights in the world do and sees this as a crucial test,

“I haven’t fought a lot of wrestlers so I need to prove to people how good my wrestling and jiu jitsu are. This guy is good, and now we have more wrestlers, more strong guys in this division, in the Top 15.”

He has been doing his homework and says Simón is ‘powerful and dangerous’,

“I’ve definitely been watching his fights. He’s been improving a lot. His striking is getting better and I think he’s stronger. He’s powerful and a very dangerous guy. Fighting him is not easy.”


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Top fighter

Yadong is currently #8 in the bantamweight rankings and knows he could slip out out of the top ten with a loss this weekend. He could have his work cut out against Simón who is riding a five fight winning streak.

The 25 year old thinks his opponent is not just one of the best in the division but one of the best in the world,

“He’s definitely one of the top fighters in the world. You see in his last fight he’s super-smart.”

Not many mixed martial artists get 11 UFC fights to their name by the age of 25. Yadong knows he is ahead of the curve and says he is in no rush,

“I’m not rushing, I’m young! I have time. Just keep going, train hard, and the best will come.”

It is a simple philosophy but one that has served Yadong well so far. He already has eight UFC wins to his name and will be hoping to make it number nine this weekend.