- Cory Sandhagen is the favorite at -225.
- Song Yadong is the underdog at +175.
The UFC action is back inside the UFC Apex in Las Vegas this weekend, where number four-ranked contender Cory Sandhagen (14-4) faces the number ten-ranked division challenger Song Yadong (19-6-1) in an exciting fight to determine who would move closer to a potential title fight.
— danawhite (@danawhite) September 12, 2022
Although he dropped two consecutive losses, Sandhagen will still be the favorite in the UFC odds at -225, mainly because he is the higher-ranked fighter.
Meanwhile, Song currently has three straight victories and is the UFC betting underdog at +175.
Cory Sandhagen Recent Fight Results
Cory Sandhagen holds a UFC record of 10 wins and three losses with an overall record of 14-4. After going 7-1 in his first eight bouts outside of the UFC, Sandhagen was called up by the Las Vegas-based promotion to compete under the banner in 2018. He made a successful debut against Austin Arnett with a second-round TKO win.
The “Sandman” racked up a four-fight winning streak with victories over Iuri Alcantara (second-round TKO in August 2018), Mario Bautista (first-round armbar in January 2019), John Lineker (split decision win in April 2019) and Raphael Assuncao (unanimous victory in August 2019).
Sandhagen absorbed his first UFC loss in a high-profile match with Aljamain Sterling in June 2020 as he was forced to tap in the first round with a rear-naked choke finish. But the Elevation Fight Team representative quickly bounced back with two impressive wins in his next two fights.
The 30-year-old scored a second-round TKO stoppage of Marlon Moraes in October 2020 to get back in the win column. Then, he annihilated Frankie Edgar in February 2021 when he put him in his highlight-reel by knocking Edgar out with a flying knee in just 28 seconds. That spectacular win has placed him again in an important match.
Sandhagen was pitted against the returning T.J. Dillashaw in July 2021 in a five-rounder title elimination bout. The two showcased a back-and-forth affair as the match went to the judges’ card for decision. Eventually, Sandhagen received a close and controversial split decision loss, but it opened a new door of opportunity for him.
Despite losing his match to Dillashaw, Sandhagen was called by the UFC to face Petr Yan in an interim title fight in October 2021 as Aljamain Sterling was still recovering from his injury. But Sandhagen endured another defeat as Yan unanimously beat him to claim the UFC Bantamweight Interim Title.
Song Yadong Recent Fight Results
Song Yadong has been slowly but surely climbing up the UFC bantamweight rankings for five years now. After competing in the MMA circuit in China, Song finally earned his spot on the UFC roster in 2017 and made an outstanding debut with a first-round guillotine choke win against Bharat Khandare in November 2017.
The Chinese star collected three more consecutive victories after scoring an elbow knockout out of Felipe Arantes in June 2018, a unanimous decision win over Vince Morales in November 2018, and a first-round knockout of Alejandro Perez in June 2019. Song encountered his first tough match when he faced Cody Stamann in December 2019 as the match was decided as a majority draw.
After that contentious result, Song picked up a unanimous win over Marlon Vera in May 2020 to collect his fifth UFC win. But his rise to the top of the rankings was briefly stopped by Kyler Philips when he absorbed his first loss under the organization in March 2021 as Philips handed him a unanimous decision defeat.
But the 24-year-old Team Alpha Male fighter quickly rebounded from that loss with three consecutive wins. He nabbed a close split decision victory over Casey Kenney in August 2021 and stopped Julio Arce via second-round TKO in November 2021. His latest and most impressive win came at the expense of former title challenger Marlon Moraes this past March by knocking him out with an uppercut.
Sandhagen vs. Song: Tale of the Tape and Fight Analysis
The physical attributes will be in Sandhagen’s favor as he has a three-inch height advantage (5’11” against 5’8”), a three-inch reach advantage (70 inches against 67 inches) and a two-inch leg reach advantage (40 inches against 38 inches) over Song. In terms of better professional win-loss cards, the American also has a superior record over the Chinese star, with 14-4 compared to 19-6-1.
Sandhagen and Song are known strikers, which translates to their 43% and 42% of TKO/KO wins, respectively. In terms of significant strikes, the “Sandman” lands 6.42 per minute in contrast to “Kung Fu Monkey’s” 4.92, which translates to 44% and 42%, accordingly. On the defensive end, Song is slightly better than Sandhagen as he only absorbs 3.78 strikes (59%) per minute versus Sandhagen’s 4.5 strikes (55%).
In the grappling department, Sandhagen has superior numbers of 0.71 takedown average per 15 minutes, 67% of takedown defense and 0.42 submission average per 15 minutes, as opposed to Song’s 0.45 takedown average per 15 minutes, 60% of takedown defense and 0.30 of submission average per 15 minutes. However, Song flaunts a better takedown accuracy of 42% compared to Sandhagen’s 33%.
Stylistically, this will be another exciting fight to watch because both men are expected to throw their hands inside the Octagon for five rounds. With this, I expect Cory Sandhagen to utilize every inch of physical advantage to fend off the strikes from Song Yadong and keep him at bay throughout the match.
Also, I think Sandhagen will show that there are certain levels to the striking game and put the young Chinese star into a masterclass this weekend.
Official prediction: Cory Sandhagen wins via unanimous decision.