Sandhagen vs Song - Under 4.5 Rounds
Njokuani vs Rodrigues - Rodrigues to win
The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns with a brand new event that almost seems insignificant next to the groundbreaking events of the previous week and the massive PPV card. Nevertheless, fans should not sleep on smaller UFC events because those include the rising stars of the organization, as well as some well-established fighters like the ones from the main event of UFC Fight Night 210 – Cory Sandhagen vs Yadong Song. Here are our predictions for the main event.
Cory Sandhagen vs Yadong Song (Bantamweight Bout)
Cory Sandhagen Preview
Cory is a 30-year-old American fighter. He made his UFC debut in 2018 against Austin Arnett, whom he knocked out in the 2nd round. In total, Sandhagen had 10 fights in the UFC: 7 won, 3 lost.
With 71% of Sandhagen winning ahead of schedule, and by the beginning of 2021 he lost only to the champion Aljamain Sterling, matchmakers began to promote him to the title. But it was not possible to get a rematch with the champion. In July 2021, he lost a split decision to TJ Dillashaw, and in October, Cory was beaten by Petr Yan. The fight against Yan was the last of Sandhagen's career.
Cory is a kickboxer. He has a creative fighting style. This is a fast and agile fighter who punches clear combinations, throws snapping kicks, and can surprise with non-standard strikes, for example, a jump knee.
Sandhagen is one of the biggest bantamweights in the world. He makes good use of the advantage of his reach. Because of this, it is difficult to hit and control him on the ground.
Cory doesn't have enough cardio to actively fight for 25 minutes. He is so worried about stamina that he works exclusively as the 2nd number and practically does not show aggression. That's why he lost to TJ Dillashaw. The former champion won on points because Sandhagen refused to turn up at the decisive moment, and TJ was active throughout the fight.
In the fight with Petr Yan, Sandhagen had a similar situation. The American had good moments, but he did not develop them, because he was afraid to give his best and get tired. In the end, Cory lost because he did nothing to turn the tide of the fight.
Yadong Song Preview
Song is a 24-year-old fighter from China. He made his UFC debut in 2017 against Bharat Khandare, whom he knocked out in the 1st round. In total, Yadong had 10 fights: 8 won, 1 lost, and 1 fight ended in a draw.
Song's only loss in the UFC came in March 2021. Then he lost a decision to Kyler Phillips. The Chinese closed this setback by going on a streak of 3 victories in a row:
• Casey Kenney – win by split decision;
• Julio Arce – KO in the 2nd round;
• Marlon Moraes – 1st round knockout.
Song is a versatile fighter who prefers to fight in a stand-up position. Being a wushu-sanda style representative, Yadong can surprise his opponent with unconventional strikes and effective footwork, thanks to which he successfully works at a distance, and closes the distance to the opponent.
When he fails to interrupt the opponent on his feet, he takes down opponents, where he scores points due to his successful control on the ground and near the net.
The main disadvantage of the Chinese is poor cardio. It is hard for him to cut to the lightest weight and therefore Yadong quickly gets tired. In the UFC, he always struggled when the fight went into the 3rd round.
Sandhagen vs Song Prediction
It is difficult to choose the outcome for this fight, so we decided to go for the under. Both fighters have problems with their cardio and they either try to end the fights quickly with a knockout or they become too passive and keep their strength. We think that this will not be the case and this main event will have its winner within the first three rounds. Song has never fought in a 5-round fight, and given that he had a hard time in the 3rd round before, I doubt that he will be competitive for 25 minutes.
A lot of scenarios are possible for this fight. Song may realize that his cardio is worse and he may try to knock out Sandhagen as fast as possible. However, Sandhagen has never been knocked out and he is a specialist at keeping a distance. Song will get tired fast and Sandhagen will use his advantage to finish him.
Chidi Njokuani vs Gregory Rodrigues (Middleweight Bout)
While there is a good chance that the main event of UFC Fight Night 210 will disappoint us with less action than expected, the co-main event promises a real war. Here are our predictions for the fight between Njokuani and Rodrigues.
Chidi Njokuani Preview
Chidi is a Muay Thai and kickboxing specialist. He performs well at medium to long range while standing. Njokuani effectively combines punches on different levels and reinforces attacks with snap kicks. Once in close range, Njokuani enters the clinch, where he controls the opponent and adds dangerous elbows and knees.
Chidi has mediocre grappling. He regularly makes mistakes on the ground, which allows opponents to take advantage of the attacking position. Twice in his career, Njokuani surrendered to submissions because he made a mistake and launched an opponent behind his back.
Gregory Rodrigues Preview
Gregory is a versatile fighter. In the standing position, he relies on good footwork and impressive knockout power. On the ground, the athlete resorts to BJJ. He works well from the back and has a good arsenal of techniques.
I would like to note the good cardio of the Brazilian: coming out on short notice, he won by points against a fighter who had a full training camp. But the Brazilian's defense raises questions. 2 of 4 defeats he suffered by knockouts in the 1st round.
Njokuani vs Rodrigues Prediction
An interesting matchup in which the opponents have equal chances to win. Njokuani has serious knockout power and good striking technique, while Rodriguez has problems with defense in the early stages. If Chidi delivers a powerful blow to the jaw of the Brazilian, then with an 80% chance he will knock him out.
But on the other hand, the Brazilian has a good grappling base and impressive physical strength. He will be able to effectively approach the opponent, tie him in the clinch and carry out takedowns. Njokuani, when faced with good wrestlers, always lost to them.