The UFC continues its COVID-19 comeback with UFC on ESPN 8 tonight, Saturday, May 16.
Heavyweights Alistair Overeem and Walt Harris headline the event at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena. In the co-main event, Claudia Gadelha looks to stop Angela Hill’s three-fight win streak.
In a featherweight matchup, hard hitting, Song Yadong takes on the fast paced, Marlon Vera in a featherweight matchup. Due to the short notice of the fight, both fighters will bump up from their normal bantamweight division.
Yadong, came into fight week dealing with some visa issues. As a precautionary measure, the UFC had Yadong’s teammate, Urijah Faber weigh in as an alternate to keep the bout alive, if Yadong was indeed unable to compete. Yadong however, got the clearance and the fight is on. He is unbeaten in his UFC stint (4-0-1), coming off of a majority draw to Cody Stamann at UFC on ESPN 7.
Marlon Vera is riding a huge wave of momentum at the moment, riding a 5 fight win streak. With his last outing scoring a 3rd round TKO against Andre Ewell at UFC on ESPN+ 19.
Here’s how the Song Yadong vs Marlon Vera went down at UFC on ESPN 8, including round by round scoring. For full event results, click here!
The fighters touch gloves and the featherweight bout is underway. A slight feeling out process and Vera commits first doubling up with leg kicks. Yadong returns with a straight right. Yadong shoots for the midsection with a jab but comes up short. Yadong fires a low kick following with a 4 piece punch combination with nothing quite finding it’s mark. Vera is feeling Yadong out with his kicks to gauge distance. Yadong pressures with a jab-straight puck combination. The fighters trade leg kicks. Yadong fires a headkick but Vera blocks the attack. Yadong doubles up on a jab, following it up with an overhand right to no avail. Yadong continues the attack, connecting with a left hook dazing Vera. Yadong follows up with a head kick and a straight right.
Yadong marches Vera down as Vera fires a kick that Yadong catches and the two clinch against the cage, briefly. Yadong circles out and keeps Vera behind his jab. Vera is staying active, firing a leg kick. Single shots are exchanged from both fighters with nothing landing clean. Yadong commits with a punch combination and Vera doesn’t back down an inch as the two trade punches. Yadong closes the distance and presses Vera against the cage. Yadong goes for Vera’s body which gives Vera enough room to circle and take dominant position. The two begin trading elbows in clinch to close this round with a bang.
MyMMANews.com Scores it 10-9: Song Yadong
Vera starts the round with leg kicks and Yadong returns the favor with his own. Yadong blitzes forward with a straight right that stops Vera in his tracks. Yadong circles and Vera fires a head kick to no avail. Yadong heats up with a punch combination to keep Vera back peddling. Vera closes the distance and puts Yadong against the fence, momentarily. Yadong presses the action and the two engage in a heated exchange, center cage.
Yadong lands a right hook over the top that wobbles Vera. Vera shakes it off quickly and comes forward, stalking his opponent. Yadong is showing his technical prowess, staying on the outside and keeping Vera on the end of his punches. Vera is trying to find a way to close the distance, but is met with Yadong’s attacks at every turn. Vera continues as he presses Yadong against the fence and all hell breaks loose! The two begin swinging for the fence in a heavy exchange of punches that would have the fans on their feet (if there were any). The fight works its way back to the center of the cage as Vera is pressing the pace. Vera draws a close to the round with a knee to Yadong’s midsection. This round showed both fighters heart and tenacity.
MyMMANews.com scores it 10-9 Song Yadong
Vera charges after Yadong with sense of urgency. However, Yadong turned Vera with ease and clinched against the fence, with Yadong in dominant position. Vera doesn’t let up, circling and getting Yadong against the fence. Vera gets the trip, taking Yadong to the mat.
Vera is working his ground and pound but Yadong isn’t staying still, throwing his own strikes from the bottom mixing it with up kicks when Vera attempts to advance. The fight gets back the feet and Yadong goes to work with his technique, leading with his jab, and following with his crisp straight right. Vera is attempting to return fire, but nothing is landing cleanly. Yadong connects with two straight rights that stop Vera in his tracks, again. Vera bounces back with a knee to Yadong’s chin. The fighters begin to show signs of fatigue as their technique is fading but their strike output hasn’t. Vera gets Yadong against the cage and scores another takedown. Yadong gets back to his feet and resorts back to what has been landing efficiently, his straight right.
Vera gets the bout to the ground for a brief scramble. The fighters get back to their feet and throw caution to the wind to close the round with Vera attempting Saenchai kick (cartwheel kick) as a Hail Mary and Yadong finishing this epic war with missed punches.
MyMMANews.com scores it 10-9 Vera
Official Decision: Song Yadong wins via Unanimous Decision (29-28)