Combat Sports

The Elevation of Song Yadong

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Song Yadong (19-6-1, 8-1-1 UFC) extended his win streak to three when he made quick work of the veteran Marlon Moraes (23-10-1, 5-6 UFC) at UFC Vegas 50. The ‘Kung Fu Monkey’ put the bantamweight division on notice, after taking just over two minutes to win the bout via KO. Yadong unleashed a three-punch combo that ended with a perfectly placed uppercut.

The victory has Song riding high, as he’s made a huge jump in the UFC bantamweight rankings. Going into the fight against Moraes, Yadong was sitting in the fourteenth spot, while Marlon held the coveted tenth position. The new rankings have been released, and Song now finds himself inside the top ten at number nine. A three-fight win streak combined with a jump of five spots in the rankings results in a young man whose stock is on fire. One can’t help but wonder what comes next for the 24-year-old native of China.

A Young Veteran

Song Yadong is already considered a veteran by many, as his trips to the Octagon have hit double digits. Ten scraps against what’s considered the world’s toughest competition is an accomplishment itself, and to do it at such a young age is absolutely incredible. It’s not just Song’s ability to take on bantamweights with varying disciplines that impresses, it’s also his fan-friendly ability to finish. Since signing with the UFC in 2017, Yadong has five finishes and has earned over $250,000 in performance bonuses.

Yadong has no problem knocking his opponent senseless, as he holds eight wins via KO. Although he prefers to keep things standing, Song does have an underutilised ground game. He holds three wins by way of submission and also proves his durability with eight decision nods. The way Song uses his striking in order to get a submission is absolutely beautiful. A perfect example is his UFC debut fight against Bharat Khandare. Yadong entertained using his Kung Fu ways, before sinking in a wicked front choke that forced Bharat to tap. The bantamweight division is bursting at the seams with killers, and Song Yadong has really found a home.

On the Horizon

Sitting inside the top ten in the bantamweight division, Song has found himself with multiple options for a future opponent. There are so many exciting fights that could be made at this time, including a second fight with Marlon Vera, whom he beat via unanimous decision back in 2020. One option for Song that has many fans already drooling would be Dominick Cruz, who’s ranked seventh at the moment. Both Cruz and Yadong love to stand, and both are as durable as they come. It would be highly anticipated, and has all the possibilities of a modern-day classic.

Song stated in his UFC Vegas 50 post fight interview that he likes the Dominick Cruz match up, not only because he watched him as a young kid, but he’s also curious how his style would play out versus Dominick’s. Yadong also says he just has to keep taking, and winning fights, and he’ll get his shot at the bantamweight strap.

If he can get past Cruz like he has everyone else, a top-five tilt would surely be in the making for one of the youngest contenders in the promotion’s history. Many see a title in this man’s future, and it is not hard to see why: he possesses an incredibly sharp skill set for an athlete so young, and he is years away from his athletic prime.

Who would you like to see Song Yadong face next? Let us know in the comments.


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Featured Image Credits to Embed from Getty Images

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