Song Yadong was just 15 years old when he made his pro MMA debut in 2013. He would go on to fight four times in 12 months without suffering a single defeat.

The 25 year old already has 26 fights to his name including ten in the UFC. There can’t be many fighters of his age with such extensive experience but Yadong knew what he wanted to be from a very early age,

“I started fighting at 15 years old. I was learning Kung Fu from school. Everyone wanted to go to college, but I wanted to be a professional fighter,” he told

As well as competing in MMA he says he was also taking matchups in other sports and even travelled to Thailand to train and fight,

“I fought almost four times a year so (I) have a lot of experience. I did everything, kickboxing, boxing, BJJ, Muay Thai, I went to Thailand and had some fights and everything has made me more experienced, growing fast. I think it has been very important for me now, and has helped me get into the top ten at a young age.”


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Main event

At UFC Vegas 60 this weekend he takes on Cory Sandhagen. It is a potentially tricky matchup for Yadong who admires his opponent’s style,

“What I like about Cory is that he has a very mature style, he uses feints to get his opponent confused, controls with his distance. He’s a very mature and experienced fighter, and that makes him dangerous.”

It will be Yadong’s first time headlining a UFC card and he would love to finish Sandhagen inside the distance,

“I don’t have any specific plans for the fight, but I believe that my instincts with my power and speed will tell me what to do at the time. Last fight, my coach told me ‘defence’ in the first round, but I don’t know what happened, I just went and got the knockout. Winning this fight is very important and I would like to knock him out.”


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Winning streak

Yadong is coming off a first round stoppage win over Marlon Moraes at UFC Vegas 50. He has won three in a row and feels that the hard work he has put in during training is really starting to pay off,

“The last three wins make me feel more confident and shows that my hard work is paying off. This fight, I worked hard every day, and I think this fight will also show that hard work pays off.”

Having already realized his ambition of fighting in the UFC the next goal for Yadong is to become a champion,

“Before the UFC, my dream was to fight in the UFC. Now my dream is to be champion so I feel normal, (it’s) not like I’m living my dream. The next goal keeps coming, and I keep going, I’m not finished yet.”

A win over Sandhagan would bring him a step closer to that dream. His opponent is ranked #4 and were Yadong to win he would be guaranteed a spot in the top five at bantamweight,

“It means I have the chance to get into the top five and challenge the champion. Fighting into the top five was my goal for this year, so I’m very excited for this fight.”