UFC Vegas 72 Press Conference: Song and Simon Ready For the Top Five



UFC Vegas 72 Press Conference: Song and Simon Ready For the Top Five

UFC bantamweights, you're all on notice this weekend. The UFC Vegas 72 press conference included Song Yadong and Ricky Simon, two huge threats for the 135lb championship. 

Better late than never! Ricky Simon and Song Yadong were slated to fight one another last weekend and UFC Vegas 71. Now, they'll be headlining UFC Vegas 72 as opposed to the original headlining bout, Renato Moicano vs Arman Tsarukyan. Though Simon vs Yadong isn't the main event we expected, it's a main event we can't miss.

Ricky Simon is on an absolute tear; having won five in a row, it's looking a lot like Ricky has come into his own in this stretch of his career. This win streak snapped a two fight losing streak. One of those losses was to Rob Font, the other is the lone KO/TKO loss on Simon's record. That was when Urijah Faber caught him with a punch that Song Yadong taught him.

Now, Simon has a chance to get redemption at the man who taught the punch that served him his only knockout loss. This will be no easy task, however. Yadong, still on the better side of thirty-years-old, has finished 11 of his 19 wins. He's coming off of a doctor stoppage loss against Corey Sandhagen, but he put up quite a fight until a cut stopped the action.

This bout has all the ingredients to be a Fight of the Year candidate. Two durable dudes that are budding contenders. Moreover, the winner's name will certainly be tossed into the title contention turbulence that is the top of the bantamweight division. Let's take a look at what was said at the Song vs Simon press conference. 

UFC Vegas 72 Press Conference: Song vs Simon

Ricky Simon already aiming for the top of the heap

From having three fights in 2021 to only one bout in 2022, the media had to ask Simon about the inactivity:

“Yeah, I definitely wanted to get in here sooner. I only got one offer, that was against Merab [Dvalishvili], and then never heard back. So, just had to sit out longer than I would have liked to. Bit, I mean, maybe for the best… my wife and I had our first child and I got to spend plenty of time with him. Plenty of family time, so that was great”

Now that Simon is back at it in the UFC, what exactly does he think of Song as an opponent? Ricky let us know:

“I think he's a great fighter, an explosive fighter. But, I don't think he mixes it up as well as I do. I don't think anyone in the bantamweight division mixes it up as well as I do. So, I have plenty of confidence going into this one.”

Of course, with this being a main event, we've got up to 25-minutes of main event to watch. Ricky let it be known that he always trains in the gym more than five rounds, and that he's ready for this fight to make it into those deep waters. Would he prefer it to go into the later rounds? Absolutely not:

“Hell no! What? No! I want to get out of there as soon as possible. We don't get paid by the minute in there. I've had the experience, I've fought five rounds, and I know, where I'm heading, I'm going to have that experience.”

There was no way that this particular UFC Fight Night press conference would go without mentioning the bantamweight number one contender, Merab Dvalishvili, a few times. Ricky Simon is the only man to finish Dvalishvili. Was it controversial? Absolutely. Was Merab out? At some point, yes. 

Should Ricky Simon grab the dub this weekend, what's next?

He gave us his thoughts:

“Yeah, what do we do next? I mean, I already beat the number one contender, we could run that back. A five round main event would be great. Merab and I for five rounds would be fun. But, I haven't really put too much thought on who's next because I'm honed in right now.”

Song Yadong ready for whatever Simon brings

One half of the titular Song vs Simon press conference is Song Yadong himself. Newly placed as the main event for UFC Vegas 72, Song extends his consecutive main event streak to two. But, if things go his way, he'll leave this main event as a winner. 

Song was asked about what he thinks of Ricky as an opponent:

“Yeah, he's a very tough guy. Very strong wrestler and his striking is getting better… but every skill, he's very average. My striking is better than his and my ground game is also better than his. If he wants to wrestle, let's wrestle. If he wants jiu jitsu, let's do jiu jitsu.”

With this confidence in his skills, would Song even pull guard? He smirked and answered:

“Of course.”

With a win this weekend, Song says he's looking forward to fighting in the top five of the bantamweight division. Next weekend is a big one for the 135lb as Henry Cejudo returns to take on the current champ, Aljamain Sterling. Song was asked who he thought would take the belt home next weekend.

“I pick Sterling.”

And still! Per Song Yadong.

Erik is a long-time MMA fan and writer. Ever since catching some Chael Sonnen trash talk on a commercial, he's been hooked on the sport. Erik spent a lot of time writing while attending college at Wichita State University. Now, he spends his time covering the sport of MMA, training in BJJ here and there, and occasionally hitting skateparks!