Song Yadong was penciled in to face Petr Yan last weekend. It isn’t clear why the Russian withdrew from the fight but the Chinese fighter is hoping it will push through in 2024.

Yadong ended up facing Chris Gutierrez at UFC Vegas 83 instead and won by decision. After the fight it seems Yan was busy online letting people he didn’t find the fight particularly entertaining.

“He posted an emoji like my fight was boring but his last fight was shit. Let’s go in March, I’m ready for him. I will knock him out. My hands are harder than his.”

Distance and control

Yadong made it clear he wasn’t particularly happy with his performance either. The judges all saw him as a comfortable winner but there was no question of either man earning a bonus for their efforts.

He gives Gutierrez credit for remaining elusive throughout the five round affair,

“I feel good but not great. I didn’t perform well, my opponent did a great job of distance and control and he didn’t give me the chance to knock him out. I’m disappointed.”


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Good experience

This was Yadong’s second headliner in a row. At UFC Vegas 72 he was able to stop Ricky Simón early in the fifth round but this time around he could not find the finish.

He was #7 in the bantamweight rankings heading into this contest although it remains to be seen how much impact the win over #15 ranked Gutierrez will have. Yadong was just grateful to get the opportunity to spend another 25 minutes competing inside the octagon,

“It’s five rounds, a five round fight is a food experience for fighters because you need to prepare well and I learned a lot. I’m happy about (being) main event.”

The card was originally supposed to take place in Shanghai. It isn’t clear why it got moved to Las Vegas but Yadong, who addressed the media in fluent English, spends more time in the US these days anyway.


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Title contention

A win over a top five opponent would thrust him straight into title contention. #He clearly thinks #5 ranked Yan fits the bill and hopes to fight him in the first quarter of 2024.

He hasn’t heard anything about Yan being injured but believes the Russian simply ‘wasn’t ready’ to face him,

“We were supposed to fight in China, everybody knows but I heard he wasn’t ready.”

Yan hasn’t won a fight since 2021 and is coming off three straight defeats. The former UFC bantamweight champion has fallen on hard times and Yadong sees him as the perfect stepping stone toward the belt.