Yadong registers 5th-round TKO victory over Simon

Song Yadong shines with an impressive win over Ricky Simon in the UFC Vegas 72 main event.

Song Yadong is back to his winning ways.

Yadong, following a defeat to Cory Sandhagen via doctor’s stoppage back in Sept., earned a fifth round TKO victory over Ricky Simon in the main event of UFC Vegas 72 on Saturday in Las Vegas at the UFC Apex.

Yadong, in the fourth round, landed a picture perfect left hook on the chin of Simon with only three seconds left in the round. Simon was saved by the bell, but deja vu happened in the fifth round for Simon. Yadong buckled Simon with another perfect left hook to the chin, but this time he finished the job. Yadong stuck on Simon with a barrage of punches until referee Herb Dean stopped the fight.

“I’m so happy, extremely happy tonight,” Yadong said. “Simon is a very tough opponent, I’m sorry, but today is my night.”

The 25-year-old, who earned Performance of the Night, outclassed Simon for the entirety of the fight. Yadong outstruck Simon 110 to 64, and stuffed seven of Simon’s nine takedown attempts, according to UFC Stats. This win marks Yadong’s sixth in the UFC and brings his overall record to 20-7. Simon sees his record drop to 20-4, and has his six fight win streak snapped. 

Yadong entered the bout ranked No. 8 in the UFC’s official rankings, and now has his eyes set on two top-5 fighters. In the post-fight interview, Yadong called out No. 2 Sean O’Malley and No. 5 Marlon Vera, who Yadong has a win over, as the two fighters he would like to face next.

The bantamweight division could see some change next weekend at the top as champion Aljamain Sterling is set to defend his 135-pound title against Henry Cejudo at UFC 288.