Song Yadong shown tenacity but took too much damage in his UFC Fight Night main event against Cory Sandhagen. A gash over Song’s left eye appeared in Round 2 and worsened as the battle progressed inside the UFC Apex in Las Vegas before Herb Dean called it a night after Round 4.
Song impressed early on, landing the harder shots in Round 1 and wobbling his higher-ranked opponent in Round 2. Sandhagen carried out a strategic game plan. He wrestled frequently and early, disturbing Song’s rhythm and misdirecting Song’s attention. Sandhagen’s early focus to wrestling allowed him to develop his striking game as the fight continued.
In the second, a clever standing upward elbow created a severe cut over Song’s left eye. After the second and third frames, a concerned ringside doctor checked on the cut but allowed Song to continue. In Round 4, the gash widened and Song’s left eye swelled. The doctor informed Dean that he was concerned about the damage Song had incurred, prompting Dean to call the fight off before the last round began.
“I’m sorry it ended that way. He was deserving of a fifth round “Sandhagen stated following the fight. “I took away the guy’s power. He is a fantastic striker.”
Sandhagen proposed a return to competition around the holidays, naming Marlon Vera and Merab Dvalishvili as possible opponents. He also mentioned fighting the four bantamweights at UFC 280: Sean O’Malley, Aljamain Sterling, T.J. Dillashaw, and Petr Yan.
Sandhagen (15-4) won his first fight in 19 months after losing to Yan and Dillashaw in successive fights for the first time in his professional career. Song (19-7-1, 1 NC) ended a three-fight winning streak that included victories over Marlon Moraes, Julio Arce, and Casey Kenney.