The mixed martial arts leader is planning to head back to China later this year for the first time since 2019.
While not yet official, it’s been widely reported that the promotion’s December 9 UFC Fight Night is being lined up for Shanghai. Now, a likely headliner has been attached to the event.
Although many expected Zhang Weili to put her strawweight title on the line in an all-China showdown with her compatriot Yan Xiaonan, the organization has seemingly gone down a different path owing to the champ not being ready. With that, another of the nation’s leading stars looks set for a monumental home fight.
Per journalist Chris Presnell, who reports on Asian and Chinese MMA, a main event between bantamweight contender Song Yadong and former champion Petr Yan is in the works.
Should this matchup be made official, Yan and Song will enter it on the back of different results.
It’s been a difficult period for Yan (16-5) since his title reign was brought to a lackluster end after he landed an illegal knee against Aljamain Sterling in 2020. While he quickly rebounded with an interim title win over Cory Sandhagen, he’s followed that triumph by losing three straight.
In 2022, the Russian narrowly fell short in a rematch against Sterling and opposite now-champ Sean O’Malley. The latter result caused significant controversy, with many believing “No Mercy” had done enough to get the win. There was no debate last time out, however, with Yan soundly beaten across five rounds by Georgia’s Merab Dvalishvili in the main event of UFC Las Vegas this past March.
Song (20-7-1, 1 NC) now looks set for the chance to add to Yan’s woes during the UFC’s year-end schedule. The Chinese star sits two places below the former 135-pound kingpin in the rankings at #7, but is coming off a notable headline victory.
After a competitive performance saw him widely praised in defeat against Sandhagen last September, “The Kung Fu Kid” bounced back this past April by knocking out Ricky Simón in the fifth round of their Apex main event.
Song will now hope to make a push for the divisional top five and title picture at the expense of Yan.
Song about to send that Russian packing for the PFL
All I hope for is a definitive finish.
Guess were both guilty
Now and then
@Nick_Diaz_Army will be on suicide watch
Well…i regret to inform you that NDA is a fair weather fan and he kicked poor ole Petr to the curb…he has a new man crush now…that Jack Della Della guy
I feel deep down inside he’s really a Suga Sean fan, as I also think they resemble each other both in looks and personality
I regret to inform HKP that NDA that swine, started a Thread on this 24hrs ago
Let’s finally see which communist country has the better state funded PED program.
Yodong hits like a truck but Yan has faced much better competition so far. Interesting matchup
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will have to find another opponent to face Song Yadong when the promotion returns to China on Dec. 9, 2023.
The “Fight Night”-themed card is still coming together and features “Road to UFC” fighter, Mingyang Zhang, versus Brendson Ribiero. Su Mudaerji will take on Allan Nascimento, and Park Jun-yong will fight Andre Muniz.
But, there’s a big hole atop of the card that still needs filling.
You’d think the obvious fight to headline a card in China would be women’s Strawweight champion, Zhang Weili, defending her title against No. 2-ranked Yan Xiaonan. But, for whatever reason, UFC is hoping to put No. 7-seeded Bantamweight, Song Yadong, into the main event slot. The original plan was to have him face No. 5-ranked Petr Yan, but that fight is now off the table because of a Yan injury.
Pulling out of a fight counts as an L in the 209
Fight was never officially made or announced by the ufc therefore it doesn’t count