In the Clinch: Sandhagen vs. Surging Song, UFC Vegas 60In the Clinch: Sandhagen vs. Surging Song, UFC Vegas 60After the wild week that was at UFC 279, the UFC is back at the relatively stable confines of The Apex for UFC Vegas 60.

Bantamweights No. 4 Corey Sandhagen (14-4-0), 30, and No. 10 Song Yadong (19-6-1, 1NC), 24, will compete in the main event. The matchup is an opportunity for Song to leapfrog into the top 5 with a big win.

Song PhenomenonSandhagen had his opportunity to win the interim championship but lost to Petr Yan at UFC 267 last October. As a very tall bantamweight at 5’11”, Sandhagen has good cardio, but it must take some physical strain to make 135. It will be interesting what adjustments he will have made for this fight.

Song is a tall bantamweight himself at 5’8” and comes in on a three-fight win streak. His last fight, a finish of Marlon Moraes, earned him a performance bonus and his confidence is probably at a high point. Six years younger than Sandhagen, the only thing Song lacks on paper compared to Sandhagen is the experience of fighting top contenders.

Both guys have solid striking, and Sandhagen might have the slight advantage on the ground. I want to see how Song deals with the reach and length of Sandhagen. Perhaps he surprises him with some takedown attempts to keep him guessing.

A few thoughts on last week. I think we have seen the realities of making weight. One fighter, a main event fighter, missed weight badly and most of the main card was rearranged as a result. The whole show could have been cancelled. Full marks must be given to the fighters who agreed to fight. In particular, Li Jingliang, who was tasked with fighting a bigger opponent on extremely short notice and who arguably was robbed by the judges.

Let’s see what Sandhagen and Song can do to return the focus to the skills and competition in the octagon.

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Corey Sandhagen

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Corey Sandhagen

Song Yadong

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