Capping off the night at UFC Vegas 83 was a pair of ranked bantamweights in Song Yadong and Chris Gutierrez.
Entering the 12th fight of his UFC tenure, Gutierrez had landed in his first main event; Song was back for his third straight main event.
It was Gutierrez feeling out distance with probing kicks early, while Song Yadong fired one back with a little more behind it. As the round progressed, Gutierrez fired kicks low and high, while Song attacked the calf with his own kicks, laying into his opponent’s lead leg. Song got his hands going as well, and had Gutierrez outside, circling and looking to find an opening.
Opening round two, Chris Gutierrez fired a front kick, then touched the outside leg. Gutierrez was showing stance switches; Song burst forward, looking for an opening. He didn’t find it, and moments later, a Gutierrez leg kick spun Song around. An eye poke that had Song wincing halted the action, however.
Back underway, Song got the fight to the ground, only for Gutierrez to be warned for holding the fence. The ref restarted them, but with only seconds left in the round, it really didn’t make much difference.
Round three opened with another foul, as this time, Chris Gutierrez endured an eye poke. About 90 seconds later, Gutierrez was ready to go, attacking again with his kicks, with Song Yadong firing back. Gutierrez sailed wide on a spinning kick, and feinted at another moments later. Gutierrez reached for a leg in a half-hearted takedown attempt with roughly two minutes still on the clock in the third, but Song easily stuffed that.
Song Yadong went on the attack early in the fourth round, backing Gutierrez up and drawing him into a bit of a firefight. Less than a minute in, and he dropped Gutierrez, who was soon covering up with Song all over him! Song got on top, with Gutierrez closing his guard, trying to hold on and buy some recovery time.
Gutierrez would survive, but Song earned himself plenty of time on top, working from inside Gutierrez’s guard. He returned there in round five, taking over in the wrestling and grappling to put the fight out of reach. Song was doing enough, targeting the body and head, to maintain his position on top.
“I’m coming for the belt,” Song said following the win, calling out ex-champ Petr Yan.