Song Yadong sent notice to the rest of the UFC bantamweight division that a new contender is coming.
The 24-year-old prospect picked up the biggest win of his career at UFC Vegas 50 on Saturday night by crushing one-time title challenger Marlon Moraes with a devastating uppercut to earn a knockout just 2:06 into the opening round. It was the third win in a row for Song, but by far the highest-profile opponent to add to his growing résumé.
“I’m happy and I feel sorry because Marlon is a very good fighter,” Song said following the win. “Our first round was planned for defense mostly, but I felt there was a chance so I had to catch it.”
Looking to make a statement, Song went headhunting from the first exchange and nearly sat Moraes down with a clubbing right hand. Moraes ate the shot and came right back at him with a head kick and a flurry of punches, but Song continued to stay directly in his face throughout the opening round.
Song stayed on the attack until he had Moraes backing up, which allowed him to really open up with his blitzing combinations.
That’s when Song rushed ahead with rapid-fire punches, including the uppercut that snapped Moraes’ head back and sent the Brazilian down to the canvas in a heap. Referee Keith Peterson immediately rushed in to stop the contest once it was clear that Moraes was down and out, as Song celebrated his second consecutive knockout.
With the win, Song is now looking for a chance to face a former champion while possibly reigniting a longstanding feud for his coaches and training partners at Team Alpha Male.
“I want to fight Dominick Cruz,” Song said. “I want to fight with him.”