This past Saturday night in the main event of UFC Vegas 72, we saw a showdown between two top ten bantamweights. Ricky Simon (20-4) was trying to push his winning streak to six fights as he took on Song Yadong (20-7-1).
This fight was originally supposed to be three rounds and it was supposed to be the co-main at UFC Vegas 71. However, when the original main event from this past weekend fell through, the promotion pushed Simon and Song back a week and made it a five-round headliner.
When the fight was three rounds, I liked Ricky Simon. I figured the wrestling and pressure would play well in three rounds. However, I hedged my pick and went with Song when the fight was moved to five rounds. As the fight entered the championship rounds, I figured the boxing and power of Song would take over.
That did happen, but I was wrong about Simon’s success. One judge gave Simon the first round, but outside of that, he didn’t win a single round on the scorecards. He never got going and Song completely stifled his game plan from the opening minutes.
In the fifth round, Song really started to land big shots and Simon got hurt. It wasn’t long before the fight and Simon’s five-fight winning streak came to an end via a TKO loss at UFC Vegas 72.
What’s next after UFC Vegas 72?
The five-fight winning streak for Simon brought him up into the top ten. Losing to a guy like Song won’t damage him that much, but it will force a step back in competition. It’s not a big step back because I think he should still be paired with someone in the top fifteen.
In looking at the current UFC rankings, there’s one fight that jumps off the page to me. I love the idea of pairing Simon up with Adrian Yanez. Yanez was 5-0 inside the octagon before he lost to Rob Font back at UFC 287 in the first round.
To me, it’s the perfect time to pair both of these guys up. Both were just on big winning streaks that were halted by top ten contenders. Let them fight with the winner firmly re-establishing themselves in or just at the UFC’s top ten at 135.