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Song Yadong vs. Marlon Vera in the works for UFC event on May 16

Song Yadong
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

A bantamweight clash between Song Yadong and Marlon Vera appears to be heading to the octagon next month.

Multiple people with knowledge of the promotion’s plans have confirmed to MMA Fighting that the matchup between Song and Vera is in the works for May 16. The event is scheduled to take place at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Fla., and airs on ESPN and ESPN+.

The bout has been verbally agreed to with contracts expected to be signed soon, according to multiple sources.

The no. 13 ranked Song is unbeaten in his last eight fights, with four victories in the UFC. In his most recent appearance, “The Terminator” took on Cody Stamann at UFC Washington this past December. After a back-and-forth battle, the fight was declared a majority draw. Song then cracked the top-15 following an impressive first-round knockout of Alejandro Perez at UFC 239 this past July.

It’s been a wild road for Vera to get back in the octagon since picking up his fifth straight win, a third-round TKO over Andre Ewell at UFC Tampa in October. “Chito” was scheduled to face Jimmie Rivera at February’s UFC 247 event before Rivera was forced to withdraw with an injury. Vera was then booked against Eddie Wineland at UFC Columbus and Ray Borg for the April 18 iteration of UFC 249 before those events were postponed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The 27-year-old Vera looks to ascend from his no. 14 ranking against a slightly higher-ranked opponent.

The UFC’s May 16 event is expected to be headlined by a heavyweight showdown between Walt Harris and Alistair Overeem.

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