Featherweights Song Yadong and Marlon Vera put on a great fight at UFC on ESPN 8, with Yadong eaning the close decision victory.
Remember that time Song Yadong didn’t fight and was replaced by coach Urijah Faber at the last minute? That was almost the story Saturday at UFC on ESPN 8.
After encountering some last-minute visa issues, Yadong’s status was up in the air. To ensure his opponent, Marlon Vera, hadn’t trained for naught, it was UFC Hall of Famer Faber hitting the scales Friday. But fear not, Song Yadong got the clearance he needed in the end.
Yadong opened up with a quick one-two, followed by a low kick. Yadong tried to enter in with a flurry, but Vera blocked and responded with a head kick. Both fighters exchanged low kicks, as they took their time to open up. Yadong pushed Vera into the cage and got into the clinch, although they would soon break apart with Yadong throwing a knee on the break. Vera attempted to step in with a knee and ate a big one-two from Yadong that snapped his head back. Yadong again drove Vera into the fence, but Vera turned him around. The round ended following some tight clinch fighting by both fighters.
Vera’s corner told him to be more active in round two, and Vera opened up with more pressure to start round two. Vera seemed to be chopping Yadong down, landing many low kicks. Vera threw a combination and rushed Yadong into the fence, but Yadong soon threw Vera off and reset to the center of the Octagon. Yadong began landing some heavy shots to the body that seemed to have an effect on Vera. Yadong landed a big left that wobbled Vera for a second, but Vera never stopped moving forward. Vera landed a big combination and Yadong got into the clinch. Vera and Yadong fired off elbows in the clinch before separating. Vera landed a ruthless body shot to end an exciting round two.
Vera opened up with a sprinting knee that led to Yadong getting into the clinch to start round three. Vera got a massive takedown and ended up in Yadong’s guard. Yadong was able to work his way back to the feet, but Vera was right back on him with the pressure. Vera landed a great calf kick on Yadong, but Yadong landed a big left hand as he stepped in. Yadong seemed to be landing the harder shots, but Vera was landing more and wasn’t going anywhere. Yadong landed a nice uppercut in the clinch, and Vera responded with a knee before backing Yadong back into the fence. Vera got another takedown, although it was brief as Yadong quickly got up. Yadong landed a big combination before shooting for a takedown that was sprawled on by Vera. What a fight by both men.
Song Yadong def. Marlon Vera by Unanimous Decision (29-28 x3)