Song Yadong didn’t get the finish he wanted but he still put on a dominant five-round performance to beat Chris Gutierrez in the UFC Vegas 83 main event.
After outstriking Gutierrez for the majority of the first 15 minutes, Song then turned to his wrestling and grappling game as he displayed incredible control and a ground and pound attack that helped him secure the victory. The final scorecards read 50-44, 50-45 and 50-45 with Song getting the nod from the judges.
Afterwards, Song admitted he was disappointed the card was moved from his native China back to the UFC APEX in Las Vegas but he he was still happy to get the win.
“I really wanted to fight in China, that’s my home,” Song said. “In the top 15, no one takes the fight but I’m coming to get the belt.”
Going against one of the most devastating finishers at bantamweight, Gutierrez showed quickness on his feet while circling away from Song’s power on the feet. Many of the early exchanges saw both fighters cracking away with some thudding leg kicks but neither Gutierrez or Song really gained an upper hand in those exchanges.
With Song struggling to close the distance, Gutierrez was able to dance on the outside while sticking straight punches in his opponent’s face. That led to Song finally diving for a takedown late in the second round, although he wasn’t able to do much damage with Gutierrez playing an effective guard game off his back.
Back on the feet again, Song was still throwing with a lot of power but Gutierrez’s movement was preventing him from really setting up any real combinations. It wasn’t until Song finally got Gutierrez backed up against the cage where he could unleash a barrage of shots in rapid-fire succession.
While Song was narrowly winning rounds, he wasn’t able to really hurt Gutierrez but that all changed in the fourth round when the Team Alpha Male fighter finally connected with a stiff punch that did some damage. With Gutierrez briefly stunned, Song threw a barrage of punches before eventually settling back down on the canvas where he began working his ground and pound offense.
Song continued to display his dominance on the ground where he clearly had an advantage over Gutierrez, who was simply stuck underneath him with little chance to escape. It wasn’t the most punishing performance but Song remained in control as he peppered away at the head and body while slipping in some crushing elbows whenever he found enough room to work.
Time ticked away to the final horn as Song secured the victory while improving his record to 5-1 over his past six fights with his long loss coming to perennial bantamweight contender Cory Sandhagen.
Following the win, Song immediately turned his attention to former UFC bantamweight champion Petr Yan, who actually tweeted out a yawn emoji after watching the main event on Saturday.
— Petr “No Mercy” Yan (@PetrYanUFC) December 10, 2023
“Next one, Petr – I know you want to fight in March, OK let’s go in March,” Song shouted. “You’re last fight [was boring], too, bro. It looked like s***. Your boxing is good, OK let’s go. I’m coming.”