LAS VEGAS – Returning to the cage after an 11-month layoff, Corey Sandhagen managed to cut a nasty punch early on against fellow bantamweight competitor Song Yadong, forcing the attending physician to call off the fight at the end of the fourth frame.
That match topped the UFC Fight Night 210 event on Saturday at the UFC Apex.
Sandhagen moved forward at the start of the match, changing positions and mixing attacks with punches and kicks, as well as testing his opponent’s wrestling defense early on. Halfway through the round, it was Song who was already able to bring the fight to the plate, and briefly slumped to his opponent’s back, but Sandhagen was able to escape back to his feet and reset.
Sandhagen kept his volume high for the remainder of the round, but Song found the mark with a handful of hard punches along the way as well.
Song lunged forward quickly to start the second, carrying large punches while Sandhagen was trying to stay mobile outside. Song wobbled briefly with Sandhagen with a clean shot from the left early in the frame, though he recovered quickly and appeared to damage tightly with his elbows well placed.
Blood started to trickle down the faces of both men as the round continued, with Song taking a nasty slice over his left eye, although referee Herb Dean allowed the procedure to continue until the bell before bringing the doctor to look at the serrated wound.
Song was aggressive again to start the third, but Sandhagen’s move kept him away from his opponent’s biggest punches. Sandhagen’s various attacks in her response scored points and once again attracted a steady stream of blood to Song’s face from the aggravating wound above the eye. Song tried to load big punches in the middle, but Sandhagen swayed and made his way out of trouble.
The doctor again closely examined the cut between the tires but again allowed the procedure to continue.
Song pressed forward to initiate the fourth strike, landing a few heavy shots in the middle before quickly sweeping his opponent to the canvas. Sandhagen wasted little time scrambling to his feet and working out the outside situation before retreating, as the two resumed pocket trade strikes.
As the round went on, Sandhagen’s size was the story again, and he rushed forward to cancel just over a minute before, and finished the frame in the top position. At the end of the round, the doctor examined the wound again and this time decided he had seen enough, and called off the procedure before the fifth round began.
At the time, the fight was on two judges’ cards, with Sandhagen advancing three rounds to one in the third.
“Good song, man,” Sandhagen said after the win. “I knew it was going to be good. I hate that it ended that way. I think he deserved the fifth round. I wanted to see the fifth round, … but that’s what matters to me, is to win. I won. I cut it poorly at first and I’m happy with that.”
Sandhagen (15-4 MMA, 8-3 UFC), who entered the fight at number four in the official UFC bantammuth weight rating, managed to slip disappointingly with his victory, while Song (19-7-1 MMA, 8-2-1) UFC), who was 10th, sees their three-fight winning streak is over.”
Complete UFC Fight Night 210 results include:
Main Caliber (ESPN+)
- Corey Sandhagen def. Song Yadong via TKO (Doctor’s Stop) – Fourth round, 5:00
- Gregory Rodriguez def. Chidi Ngokwane via TKO (Punches) – 2nd round, 1:27
- Andre Willi def. Bill Geo via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28
- Joe Perver def. Allen Amidowski via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 3:55
- Rodrigo Nascimento def. Tanner Poser via split decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)
- Anthony Hernandez def. Marc-Andre Parreault via Technical Submission (Triangle Arm Throttle) – Round 3, 1:53
Initial card (+ESPN)
- Damon Jackson def. Pat Sabatini by verbal submission (punches) – 1st round, 1:09
- Trevin Giles def. Louis Cosé by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- Loma Lokpunmi def. Dennis Gomez by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
- Tree Ogden def. Daniel Zollhuber by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
- Gillian Robertson def. Maria Agapova via technical submission (naked rear throttle) – Round 2, 2:19
- Javed Bisharat def. Tony Gravley by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Nicholas Motta def. Cameron VanCamp via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 3:49
more MMA coverage: