Tomorrow night in the co-main event of UFC Vegas 50, we will see a banger in the bantamweight division. Former title challenger “Magic” Marlon Moraes (23-9-1) returns as he takes on a surging young contender in Song Yadong (18-6-1).
If there’s anyone on the card tomorrow night that needs a win more than anyone it’s Marlon Moraes. Entering UFC Vegas 50, Moraes is 1-4 in his last five fights including a three-fight losing streak.
The last time we saw him was against Merab Dvialishvili at UFC 266. After a hot start, Moraes really gassed out and Merab ended up scoring the TKO win. In this current stretch, Moraes has been finished in all three fights.
While he’s not taking on the elite of the division, he’s taking on perhaps the future of the division. It’s crazy that Song Yadong will be fighting his tenth UFC fight and he doesn’t even turn 25 until December.
So far, Yadong is 7-1-1 inside the octagon. Tomorrow night is his biggest test yet and if he can defeat Marlon Moraes, it will be time to start focusing on Yadong against some of the elites of the UFC’s bantamweight division.
UFC Vegas 50 Prediction
Three years ago, I would’ve picked Marlon Moraes in this spot without thinking much about it. Honestly, Moraes looked like the best bantamweight in the UFC and if you made that argument, you made it on firm ground.
However, we are long removed from that narrative. Moraes is now looked at as a guy who sprints out of the gate and then breaks if he can’t finish you in the first round. I think we are probably going to see him try to break that narrative at UFC Vegas 50.
Expect a more measured pace from Moraes tomorrow night because he knows he needs to win. He knows he needs to be calculated and measured if he wants to defeat Song Yadong. He can’t rush things because I don’t see him putting away Yadong easily.
We are in for a very technical but fun fight tomorrow night. I think Moraes will see the most success early, but I think Yadong comes on strong starting in the second round. Wouldn’t be shocked by a Yadong finish, but I think it goes the distance and he picks up the biggest win of his UFC career.
Prediction: Song Yadong by Decision