Song Yadong picks Sean O’Malley to win, hopes Chito Vera pulls off upset so ‘I can beat him up’ again

Song Yadong has his sights set on the top of the bantamweight division after his latest win over Chris Gutierrez in the UFC Vegas 83 main event.

Following a dominant victory where he won every round on the scorecards, the 26-year-old bantamweight wasted no time calling for a fight against ex-champion Petr Yan at UFC 299 in March. That event is headlined by the bantamweight title fight as champ Sean O’Malley takes on Marlon “Chito” Vera in Miami.

While Yan seemed uninterested in the fight, dropping a yawning emoji on Twitter, Song quickly fired back. He reminded the Russian he’s coming off a less than stellar performance in a lopsided loss to Merab Dvalishvili in March.

“I already told everybody I want to fight Petr Yan,” Song said at the UFC Vegas 83 post-fight press conference. “He posted the emoji, it means the fight was boring, but his last fight was boring, too. Like, s***.

“So let’s fight at [UFC] 299. I heard he wants to fight in March. OK, let’s fight in March. We both don’t go back. Let’s go face-to-face, let’s go. Let’s see who has better boxing. Let’s see who has the best boxing in this division.”

Assuming he gets his wish, Song would share the card with Vera, whom he defeated in a “Fight of the Night” performance in 2020.

Vera secured his title shot largely due to a past win over O’Malley, putting him in a perfect position for a rematch once the always-flashy Contender Series veteran claimed the UFC title.

While Song doesn’t like Vera’s chances to secure a second win over O’Malley, he will definitely be rooting for him, because he knows that would fast track his own path to a championship opportunity.

“I pick Sean [to win],” Song said. “Sean is smart, good footwork and good speed but I hope Chito can win the fight and have a rematch with me. That would be very good.”

Much like O’Malley wanted revenge for the only loss on his record, Song knows that Vera would love to run that fight back with him. While Vera may not have been happy with the decision that night, Song feels confident in his victory, especially knowing what he had to endure just to get to that fight in the middle of the global pandemic.

“Our first fight, this guy he has been preparing for six months, no one fought with him,” Song explained. “His opponent kept getting injured and the UFC told me about the fight two weeks [before it happened].

“At that time, COVID just started. I was in my home for one month, no training, even no running. Coach said I can do it so I took the fight. But I don’t have good conditioning. But the fact is I won the first two rounds. You guys can look again.”

If Vera gets the job done and becomes UFC champion, Song would love nothing more than to challenge him for the title while giving his former opponent the chance to avenge a past loss.

Of course, Song feels ultra-confident that he would deliver an even more impressive victory in the rematch, but he just needs to chance to do it.

“Standup or on the ground, I can beat him up,” Song said about Vera. “He don’t have confidence for a fight with me. I’m not a kid right now. I’m 26 years old right now.”

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