Yadong Works Over Gutierrez

December 10, 2023
3 months

Chinese MMA star Song Yadong had hoped his fight last Saturday would be against former title challenger Piotr Yan in Shanghai. But the bout had to be moved due to logistical issues. Then, his opponent pulled out due to injury.

While No. 13-ranked Chris Gutierrez stepped in to give No. 7 a ranked challenger, Yadong seemed to have more to lose than gain from the fight. Despite all of the changes, Yadong was able to mix a diverse game plan to pick up a unanimous decision victory. Yadong is typically known for his explosive striking, but he won this fight with a mixed style.

Yadong would score two takedowns and land 160 strikes compared to Gutierrez’s 105 total strikes. While Gutierrez held an 87-77 edge in significant strikes, the impact of those wasn’t enough to impress the judges to swing any rounds.

Yadong likely won’t earn a title shot off this performance but is hoping, with five wins in his past six fights, that he will get someone ranked higher than him in his next bout. According to MMA latest updates, the bantamweight division in the UFC has plenty of strong contenders, so Yadong’s attempt to climb toward the spot in the rankings may take a few more fights.

Rountree Flattens Smith

Anthony “Lionheart” Smith has repeatedly proven to the UFC that his “Lionheart” fighter nickname is adept. The question for Smith moving forward is if he still has the skill to match his toughness. Smith took a fight with dangerous light heavyweight striker Khalil Rountree Jr. on ten days’ notice.

Despite not having much preparation time, Smith pressured Rountree by coming forward for most of the fight. Unfortunately for Smith, Rountree finally found the right combination in the third round. Rountree hit Smith with a thundering uppercut in the third round, which sent Smith backward. While Rountree was ready to follow up with another shot, he held his strike to see if the ref would step up.

The referee did waive the fight to save Smith from further punishment. Smith has fought professionally 56 times in his MMA career and has been knocked out 11 times. He has lost three of his past four UFC bouts. Smith’s last victory against Ryan Spann was via a questionable split decision.

Haqparast Blows By Mullarkey

Nasrat Haqparast’s fight with Jamie Mullarkey was one many people thought would go the distance. Haqparast surprised everyone by stopping it in the first two minutes. Haqparast landed a sudden flurry of punches that had Mullarkey out on his feet.

This has been a good year for Haqparast in the sport. He had taken a year off between his win over John Makdessi in September 2022 and his win over Landon Quinones in September of this year. Haqparast is now 16-5 in his career and has won three straight fights.

Elliott is Always Ready

Tim Elliott, 35, had two training sessions before his bout with Su Mudaerji Saturday night. Taking the fight on five day’s notice didn’t provide an opportunity to put too much work in. However, Elliott, who has 34 fights in the octagon under his belt, was able to lean on his experience.

During a bout with Mudaerji, Elliott could force the fight to go to the ground. Once then, Elliott locked in an extremely tight arm-triangle choke that forced Mudaerji to spit out blood as it got tighter. Herb Dean would step in to stop the fight and give Elliott the win by technical submission.

Elliott said after the fight that he still has much to learn and wants to keep fighting even though he knows a chance to win the flyweight championship is unlikely.

Iron Turtle Can’t Stay Off of His Back

There’s an argument to be made that Park Jun-yong, the Iron Turtle, won his middleweight bout with Andre Muniz. Both men spent much of the match grappling and Muniz didn’t seem to land many impactful strikes. Muniz did enough with his grappling dominance to win a decision to open up the main card.

Getting a win was vital for Muniz, who had lost his previous two fights by TKO and submission to Paul Craig and Brendan Allen, respectively.

Costa Shoots for Takedown on Referee

Steve Garcia sent Melquizael Costa to another world during their lightweight bout. Garcia had a hard time keeping Costa off his neck in the first round, as Costa employed a wrestling-heavy approach, looking for a submission in the first round. Things took a significant turn in the second round, according to MMA news sites.

Garcia could string together a few punches to drop Costa to the mat. When Costa was on the canvas, Garcia could get in a mount position and drop heavy elbows on Costa, forcing referee Chris Tognoni to step in and stop the fight. Costa was still reeling from the assault, however, and tried to take down Tognoni, who used a hand to steady himself and prevent him from going to the mat.

Undefeated Prospect Maintains Momentum

Hyun Sung Park was able to move to 9-0 by picking up a win over Shannon Ross, who may be better off heading toward retirement. Ross has been knocked out in four consecutive fights, three on the UFC main card and once on Dana White’s Contender Series. The Best MMA news site shows Park dominated the fight from the outset.

Jousset Dominates Kenan

The featured prelim fight was a one-sided affair. French fighter Kevin Jousset was able to strike effectively on the outside on his way to a unanimous decision win over Song Kenan. Here’s a look at the rest of the fights from tonight that were not mentioned above.

  • Women’s catchweight: Luana Santos defeats Stephanie Egger by decision, 30-27, 29-28×2
  • Flyweight: Tatsuro Taira won by TKO over Carlos Hernandez, Round 2: 55 seconds
  • Women’s strawweight: Talita Alencar defeats Rayanne dos Santos by split decision, Alencar 29-28×2, dos Santos 29-28

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