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Song Yadong not expecting to fight Sean O’Malley next because UFC is ‘protecting him’

UFC Fight Night: Song v Simon
Song Yadong
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Song Yadong brought a list of names he would like to fight after demolishing Ricky Simon in the main event of UFC Vegas 72, which went down Saturday night in Las Vegas, but doesn’t really see one of them as viable.

Song stopped Simon via fifth-round TKO at the UFC APEX and mentioned bantamweights Marlon Vera and Sean O’Malley as ideal opponents for him going forward — he added Rob Font and Petr Yan to the list during the post-fight press conference, too. Yet, the 25-year-old Chinese prospect thinks the company wouldn’t book him against “Suga”.

“I wanna fight top-5 fighters. Even Font — he’s [No.] 6, right? He’s ok,” Song said. “And ‘Chito’ Vera and Sean O’Malley — but probably they don’t give me Sean O’Malley, guys are protecting him. Whatever. Just top-5. My goal is to fight top-5 fighters this year.”

Asked for an ideal timeframe for his return to the octagon, Song said he’s open to competing again in around July or August, depending on how his body heals after UFC Vegas 72.

O’Malley (16-1, 1 no contest) won a split decision over Yan in his most recent octagon appearance in October 2022, going unbeaten in his past five since losing via TKO to Vera in 2020. Yan (16-5) has now lost four of his past five in the UFC.

Vera (22-8-1) was on a great run before dropping a split decision to Cory Sandhagen this past March, knocking out former UFC champions Dominick Cruz and Frankie Edgar. Font (20-6) rebounded from decision defeats to Jose Aldo and ‘Chito’ Vera with a first-round knockout over Adrian Yanez earlier this month.

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