Song Yadong (L) of China is announced winner over Chris Gutierrez of the U.S. in the main event of UFC Fight Night at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, December 9, 2023. /CFP

Song Yadong (L) of China is announced winner over Chris Gutierrez of the U.S. in the main event of UFC Fight Night at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, December 9, 2023. /CFP

Song Yadong, 26, of China called out Russia’s Petr Yan, the former UFC bantamweight champion, after beating Chris Gutierrez by unanimous decision (50-44, 50-45, 50-45) in the main event of UFC Fight Night at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, on December 9.

Many wanted to watch Song fight Yan for this card but it didn’t happen due to Yan’s injury. Instead, Gutierrez was picked to fight Song, but he didn’t cause much more trouble than exchanging low legs in the first round. Song began to take control from the second round, eventually landing multiple hard elbows on Gutierrez in the fifth.

“I learned a lot from this fight,” Song said after the fight. “I’m sorry to the Chinese fans I didn’t knock him out.” This was his second straight win and the fifth of the past six fights. Three of these bouts were won by stoppage.

Song Yadong (R) of China kicks Chris Gutierrez of the U.S. in the main event of UFC Fight Night at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, December 9, 2023. /CFP

Song Yadong (R) of China kicks Chris Gutierrez of the U.S. in the main event of UFC Fight Night at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, December 9, 2023. /CFP

Song Yadong (R) of China kicks Chris Gutierrez of the U.S. in the main event of UFC Fight Night at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, December 9, 2023. /CFP

Song has tallied eight UFC bantamweight wins since his debut fight against the first Indian-born UFC fighter Baharat Kandare in 2017. Only former champion Aljamain Sterling, current champion Sean O’Malley and No. 1 title contender Marlon Vera have more wins than Song, who is now the youngest bantamweight contender in the UFC.

Gutierrez was on an eight-bout unbeaten streak before losing two of his past three fights. He lost to Brazil’s Pedro Munhoz by unanimous decision in April and beat Alateng Heili of China in October before facing Song.

Yan posted an emoji of yawn during Saturday’s fight and Song didn’t miss it. “I already fought two guys lower than me, so I want to fight Petr Yan,” Song said. “He post the emoji. It means the fight was boring. but his last fight was boring, too. Let’s fight at UFC 299. I heard that he wants to fight in March. We can fight in March. We both don’t go back. Let’s go face-to-face. Let’s see whose boxing is good. Let’s see who is the best boxer in this division.”

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