Combat Sports

UFC Vegas 60 Main Event Breakdown

|
Image for UFC Vegas 60 Main Event Breakdown

The last weekend of summer is upon us inside the United States, but while the leaves will turn and the season will soon give way to the autumnal equinox, make no mistake: The action in MMA‘s top promotion, the UFC, is still just heating up, and UFC Vegas 60 is right around the corner.

On Saturday night, the promotion will wrap up its September schedule of events with a return visit to its UFC Apex facility, near its Las Vegas headquarters, for UFC Vegas 60 and the UFC Vegas 60 main event of the evening.

Live coverage of UFC Vegas 60 begins Saturday afternoon at 4 pm ET/ 1 pm PT exclusively over ESPN+ in America, with the main card following at 7 pm ET/ 4 pm PT.

As of now, this weekend’s card is slated to feature a 14-fight card and a five-fight main card, down from a 15-fight card and a six-fight main card after the postponement of the originally-scheduled co-main event. Giga Chikadze (14-3 MMA, 7-1 UFC) had to withdraw from the fight against Sodiq Yusuff (12-2 MMA, 5-1 UFC) for unspecified reasons last Thursday.

Bantamweight Showcase in UFC Vegas 60 Main Event

However, the original UFC Vegas 60 main event remains intact for this coming Saturday night, and it features a top-10 showdown to close down the UFC’s itinerary for this month. No. 4 contender Cory Sandhagen (14-4 MMA, 7-3 UFC) will meet No. 10 contender Song Yadong (19-6-1, 1 NC MMA, 8-1-1 UFC) in Saturday’s headliner.

As with all UFC main event contests, the UFC Vegas 60 main event will be an advertised maximum of five rounds at five minutes per round to wrap up the card.

UFC Vegas 60 Main Event Fighter Comparison

Heading into the UFC Vegas 60 main event on Saturday evening, Cory Sandhagen stands as the taller man at 5-foot-11, compared to the 5-foot-8 frame of Song Yadong. Sandhagen also owns a three-inch reach advantage (70 inches to 67 inches) and a two-inch leg reach advantage (40 inches to 38 inches) over Song Yadong ahead of the headliner over the weekend.

Cory Sandhagen Entering Must-Win Fight To Stay in Title Conversation With UFC Vegas 60 Main Event

Cory Sandhagen comes into the UFC Vegas 60 main event this weekend having gone 2-3 in his last five MMA appearances and is currently on a two-fight skid. Last time out, he sustained a unanimous decision defeat at the hands of Petr Yan (16-3 MMA, 8-2 UFC) in October of last year during UFC 267 for the UFC Interim Bantamweight Championship.

Sandhagen was not originally scheduled to be on the October PPV last year, as Yan had been booked to fight Aljamain Sterling (21-3 MMA, 13-3 UFC) on the same card before the latter withdrew upon sustaining a neck injury. A loss by Sandhagen in the UFC Vegas 60 main event would mark three dropped fights in succession, something that isn’t lost on him, as he explained in an interview that he spent the time away improving his craft.

“I’ve been really committed to spending my time getting stronger in the areas that I’m a bit weaker in in MMA and adding those tools to my game,” Sandhagen began. “That’s what I’ve been doing pretty much the last year. It was definitely the kind of time that I definitely feel like I needed a little bit, to develop those skills. It’s kind of hard to do when you’re in fight camp. I got that time, it was much-needed, and now, I’m kind of ready to have another run at the title.”

He’s taken 11 months off and has done work to improve his acumen, but will Cory Sandhagen’s work pay off with a victory in the UFC Vegas 60 main event?

Song Yadong Looks To Stretch Winning Streak to Four on Saturday

In the other corner, Song Yadong has gone 4-1 in his last five UFC bouts and is currently riding a three-fight winning streak, extended most recently by way of a first-round knockout (uppercut) against the now-retired Marlon Moraes (23-10-1 MMA, 6-6 UFC) back in March of this year.

After the win, he spoke to Paul Felder about his performance.

“I’m happy and I feel sorry because Marlon is also a very good fighter,” Yadong said through his translator. “I wish him a win, but I need to win, too.”

Yadong is only a few months shy of his 25th birthday and has yet to even peak in his career, so if he’s impressive now, imagine how tough he’ll be in the later years of his MMA life.

This is a man who has already cracked the top-10 in the UFC’s bantamweight rankings and someone who was told by those in his community that he would never make it as a fighter.

He’s also a man whose ultimate goal is to someday win the UFC Bantamweight Championship, so a victory here would be another step in that direction.

Analysis, Film Study, and Prediction

Stylistically, the UFC Vegas 60 main event seems to favor Song Yadong, a Muay-Thai and jiu-jitsu fighter and former champion in Sanda kickboxing, compared to Cory Sandhagen’s brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

Cory Sandhagen Can End Things Quickly

One aspect of Cory Sandhagen’s fight game that jumps out on film is his ability to end a contest in a hurry, something he did against Frankie Edgar in February of 2021. Although that night’s co-main event was slated for three rounds at five minutes per round, Sandhagen needed less than half of a minute to get the victory, as after absorbing a few kicks and landing a punch to Edgar’s head, he launched a jumping attack to execute a perfectly-timed flying knee to end the fight.

All that Cory Sandhagen needs to win the UFC Vegas 60 main event on Saturday is to land as little as one well-timed shot to knock Song Yadong out cold.

…But So Can Song Yadong

In the other corner, Song Yadong subscribes to the gospel according to Lee Corso:

“Not so fast, my friend.”

He can end a fight quickly, in his own right. Just ask Marlon Moraes in the latter’s retirement fight. Right from the command to fight, Yadong pieced Moraes up with a quick three-punch combo, before landing a leg kick to Moraes’ head and a right-handed punch to almost knock him out.

Although Moraes did land some punches and kicks of his own (including a left leg kick), they were few and far between. Yadong smelled blood in the water, continuing to throw and land combinations, finally ending the fight with a nasty uppercut to complete the knockout. If Song Yadong can land punches in bunches in the UFC Vegas 60 main event on Saturday night, this fight will be his.

Final Thoughts

The UFC Vegas 60 main event looks to be a highly-entertaining fight whose outcome will assuredly have ramifications on the title picture at 135 lbs., so don’t miss it.

Prediction: Song Yadong by First-Round TKO.

main image credits:

Embed from Getty Images

Share this article

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.