Bantamweights Song Yadong and Chris Gutierrez headlined Saturday’s UFC Vegas 83 fight card at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
Yadong made the walk to the octagon coming off a TKO win over Ricky Simon in his last outing. He had won four of his previous fight and was ranked seventh in the 135-pound weight class.
Gutierrez entered the fight on Saturday ranked 15th in the division. In his last fight, Gutierrez defeated Alateng Heili via unanimous decision in October and had been victorious in five of his last six outings. Following his last fight, Gutierrez asked for a main card fight, he got a main event.
The two took the center of the octagon. Yadong inched forward and landed a leg kick. Both men were being measured when Yadong sprang forward with a spinning-back fist. They exchanged leg kicks two minutes into the round. Gutierrez targeted the legs of Yadong. Gutierrez threw a spinning-back fist as well. Yadong connected with a hard leg kick but had difficulty getting inside on Gutierrez. The opening round was close and difficult to score.
Yadong delivered a leg kick to start the second frame. Gutierrez connected with a front kick to the face of Yadong. He landed a leg kick and got out of the way of the counter. Yadong received an accidental poke to the eye and was given time to recover. One the action resumed he landed a leg kick. Midway through the round and Yadong changed levels and took Gutierrez down. He maintained top control for the remainder of the round. At one point, referee Herb Dean warned Gutierrez about putting his fingers in Yadong’s gloves.
The third round began with Yadong looking for a takedown. He connected with a right hand and moved away. Yadong accidentally poked Gutierrez in the eye and Gutierrez was given time to recover. A couple of minutes later, he was ready to continue. Yadong continued to target Gutierrez’ legs. Yadong went to the body with a punch and backed away. He continued to land leg kicks. Yadong briefly cornered Gutierrez but didn’t inflict any damage. Yadong caught a kick and took Gutierrez down in the final seconds of the round.
Heading into the championship rounds, it was anyone’s fight. Yadong rushed forward and connected with a right hand. Yadong connected with a right hand that knocked Gutierrez down. He followed him to the canvas and worked inside Gutierrez’s full guard. With nearly four minutes remaining, Yadong delivered short punches. He landed to the body and head. Gutierrez was unable to mount an offense off his back. The round definitely went to Yadong.
The final frame began with neither fighter having a big advantage. Yadong may have been up but couldn’t have been comfortable with his lead.
Yadong landed a leg kick and missed with a heavy right hand. Gutierrez rolled for a leg but ended up with Yadong on top of him inside his guard. Yadong peppered him with punches and elbows. For more than four minutes Yadong maintained top position. He continued to deliver punches and elbows as the clock ticked away. Some of the elbows were vicious. With seconds remaining, Yadong delivered punches and hammer fists before the bell sounded.
The judges scored the fight for Yadong via unanimous decision. The scorecards read 50–44, 50–45, and 50–45.
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