UFC Fight Night: Sandhagen vs. Song took place Sept. 17 at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada. UFC bantamweight contenders Cory Sandhagen (15-4) and Song Yadong (19-7-1, 1 NC) faced off in the night’s main event. The fight aired live on ESPN+.
Catch the video highlights below.
For more on Sandhagen vs. Song, check out the live blog by MMA Fighting’s Jed Meshew.
Round 1: Sandhagen comes out in southpaw, Song in orthodox. Sandhagen takes the center immediately and starts backing Song up. He’s switching stances too.
Lead rear right hand from Sandhagen gets Song backing up and Sandhagen shoots a double. Song defends but Sandhagen has the clinch and has Song against the fence. Low blow from Song, but Sandhagen shakes it off and maintains position. Song is able to break and now we’re at space.
Not for long. Sandhagen staying in Song’s grill, switching stances, probing. Wheel kick misses. song staying tight, and looking. Sandhagen comes in lazily and Song cracks him with a huge left hook. Sandhagen eats it but backs up. that was a heater.
Song with a very high guard and Sandhagen shoots a takedown. Song stuffs it easily and then reverses, taking Sandhagen down. Those long limbs are going to work immediately but Song doing a good job defending.
Sandhagen turns is back and Song jumps it! Sandhagen posting and standing but Song staying sticky. Sandhagen is finally able to shake him but dangerous decision making.
Back in space, Sandhagen probing with the lead hand and kicks. Solid body kick lands. Now Song is the one holding the center though, with Sandhagen stepping out and looking for big shots. Sandhagen feints a takedown and Song sells out to defend.
Song lands a good jab but he’s getting outworked. Song lands a powerful hook but Sandhagen takes it well and fires back. Song is landing the more powerful shots, but Sandhagen is landing nearly 2-1 it feels like. The numbers show it much closer than that, but Sandhagen feels busier.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Sandhagen.
Round 2: If you want to score that first round for Song, that’s reasonable. He had some big moments. And song comes out on the lead to start. It’s a good look for him. Sandhagen looks a little less comfortable when he’s on the back foot.
Big hook lands for Song. Sandhagen tries to return fire and get it back but eats a big left hook that wobbles him! Sandhagen is okay, but that one absolutely zapped him for a moment. Sandhagen jumps a knee but misses. He’s missed a few of those.
Sandhagen goes for a takedown and Song’s butt hits the mat but he’s back up immediately. And lands a combo for good measure. Sandhagen lands a step-in elbow. Song appears to have growing confidence though. He’s got a cut over his left eye that is bleeding pretty good, but Song is marching forward now and throwing heat.
Sandhagen slows the fight down with a takedown. No joy, but he gets the clinch and forces Song to the fence, where we can see the cut. OOF. It’s a bad one. Deep, and directly over the left eye. Song may need a finish because the blood is going into the eye and I would be shocked if the doctor allows this to continue after this round. Both men are drenched in Song’s blood now.
Song still marching forward. Sandhagen on his bike. He’s playing very safe. Smart. But he’s like not actually fighting that much. Keeping a long distance. Song may not be able to see at all though, so he’s not landing much back. He’s still stepping in. Sandhagen coming in with some shots, Song fires back, Sandhagen changes levels again. The wrestling isn’t leading to takedowns, but it is allowing him to shorten the fight.
Song breaks and he swings some monsters. Sandhagen in retreat. That cut is SOOOO bad.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Song, 19-19 overall.
Round 3: I have no issue with any scores at this point. It’s a super close fight. And impossibly, the doctor has allowed Song to continue. this may well be his final round though. Sandhagen should do his best to widen that thing.
Song pushing the pace to start, Sandhagen on his bike. Cut man did a great job on that thing though. Not bleeding for the moment.
Sandhagen landing light kicks as he stays away. Sandhagen steps in, Song counters, Sandhagen jabs his way out. He shoots another takedown but gets stuffed easily. He then lands a stepping elbow.
Stepping knee lands for Sandhagen as Song dips his head. Good shot. Sandhagen flashing the lead hand a ton, but not committing to much. Just controlling distance with the jab. And now Song is bleeding again.
Song having a harder time negotiating the distance now. Sandhagen’s jab is leading the way. Sandhagen shoots but gets stuffed. And does it again, but this time he gets the clinch. Sandhagen fighting tactically, but he’s not leaving a huge impression. More real offense would help him.
Sandhagen breaks, Song lands a left, Sandhagen lands a combo. Sandhagen shoots again and gets stuffed. Song is showing a lack of depth in tools right now though. He’s struggling to get in on for his shots and he’s having to start running in. Sandhagen’s wrestling is not succeeding, but it’s throwing off Song’s offense immensely. That and the jab.
Song finally lands a good shot but it’s only one. Sandhagen poking away with the lead hand. Lands a nasty hook to the body and then a jumping knee just before the horn and Song is bleeding like a stuck pig again.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Sandhagen, 29-28 Sandhagen overall.
Round 4: Song’s eyebrow looks like it’s about to fall off, but the doctor allows it to go on, just warning Herb dean to keep an eye on it.
Song comes out with pep in his step but Sandhagen pops the cut with a jab and gets it bleeding again. All he needs to do is target that and it’s ball game.
Sandhagen comes charging forward, throws a body kick and Song catches it and trips Sandhagen to the mat. Song bleeding profusely in Sandhagen’s guard. Sandhagen moving and gives up his back again. That’s sooo bad. But Song isn’t able to capitalize and now Sandhagen is up and against the fence. He reverses position and Song’s face is pouring blood. Herb Dean still letting it continue. I cannot fathom why.
Sandhagenlands a trip but Song is back up. Song fires back in a big way. Sandhagen moving and poking though. Song’s face is a horror movie.
Song tries to get in and Sandhagen lands a 1-2 and moves out. Song cannot close the gap effectively and he’s on borrowed time. Nice body shot from Sandhagen and another takedown attempt and this time he gets it! Song is against the fence and now he’s driving into the cut. Song bleeding so much. Sandhagen grinding with the head and chipping away from top half.
Song is still trying to scrap but this is not safe. Sandhagen finishes standing overtop Song. This fight has to be done.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Sandhagen, 39-37 Sandhagen overall.
Cory Sandhagen def. Song Yadong by TKO (cut) at 5:00 of Round 4.