A bantamweight clash between Song Yadong and Ricky Simon, which was scheduled to serve as the co-main event for this weekend’s UFC Vegas 71, has been moved back one week and is now expected to headline UFC Vegas 72 on April 29. News of the matchup’s move and elevation in status was announced by the UFC on Saturday. While the change means a new date for Song and Simon, the duo will still be competing at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada.
UFC originally planned to have a lightweight fight between Renato Moicano and Arman Tsarukyan in the main event spot of their late April card. But after Moicano recently withdrew from the lineup due to an injury, it looks as if neither fighter will make an appearance on that card at all.
Song attempts to come back from Sandhagen loss
Song will be fighting to return to the win column in his next fight. He last appeared in the main event spot of a September 2022 card, when an elbow from former interim title challenger Cory Sandhagen caused a fourth-round doctor stoppage.
The main event appearance last year came after a trio of wins for Song at bantamweight, including a first-round stoppage against veteran Marlon Moraes.
Song is entering this fight as the higher-ranked fighter, currently sitting eighth on UFC’s official list. Simon trails him by two spots at bantamweight.
Simon set for first UFC main event
The abrupt change to UFC’s plans for later this month has caused a first in Simon’s career. His upcoming bout will now be the first time he has ever fought in a five-round UFC main event.
Simon expressed enthusiasm for the change after it was announced Saturday. “Bantamweight is the best division right now,” he said via Twitter. “5 round, main event!”
The 30-year-old talent has attained eight wins through 10 appearances since joining the promotion in 2018. He is currently on a run of five consecutive victories, with three of them coming via stoppage.
Simon scored a big win in his last appearance, handing prospect Jack Shore his first loss in a second-round arm triangle choke submission.
While the bout will be Simon’s debut in the five-round UFC spotlight, he is no stranger to going into the deep waters of a fight. In 2017 before he joined the promotion, Simon went five rounds against Chico Camus to earn the LFA Bantamweight Championship. Half of his UFC fights have also gone the distance.
New UFC Vegas 71 line-up
With Song vs. Simon off the card, Brad Tavares vs. Bruno Silva serves as the new co-main event for UFC Vegas 71. Here’s the full line-up:
- Sergei Pavlovich vs. Curtis Blaydes
- Brad Tavares vs. Bruno Silva
- Bobby Green vs. Jared Gordon
- Iasmin Lucindo vs. Brogan Walker
- Jeremiah Wells vs. Matt Semelsberger
- Ricky Glenn vs. Christos Giagos
- Rani Yahya vs. Montel Jackson
- Karol Rosa vs. Norma Dumont
- Mohammed Usman vs. Junior Tafa
- Francis Marshall vs. William Gomis
- Priscila Chachoeira vs. Karine Silva
- Brady Hiestand vs. Danaa Batgerel
Current UFC Vegas 72 line-up
There wasn’t much time to find a replacement for the main event at UFC Vegas 72, as Moicano’s departure from the lineup was confirmed only last week. The fight was expected to be his first headlining appearance since making the move up from featherweight in 2019.
After the fight cancellation, Tsarukyan has been campaigning for a bout against Beneil Dariush. Similar to him, Dariush was recently taken out of a May 6 fight against former champion Charles Oliveira.
Last night, Tsarukyn tweeted that Dariush had accepted a fight with him, but that the promotion wasn’t able to put it together. “Hopefully we meet in the future,” he said.
UFC’s final card of the month is now 13 fights in total. In the co-main event, middleweight talent Caio Borralho will attempt to keep his UFC record flawless when he faces Michal Oleksiejczuk.
With the new main event in place, here’s how UFC Vegas 72 looks currently:
- Song Yadong vs. Ricky Simon
- Caio Borralho vs. Michal Oleksiejczuk
- Waldo Cortes-Acosta vs. Marcos Rogerio de Lima
- Cody Brundage vs. Rodolfo Vieira
- Emily Ducote vs. Polyana Viana
- Natan Levy vs. Pete Rodriguez
- Brian Kelleher vs. Journey Newson
- Martin Buday vs. Jake Collier
- Josh Quinlan vs. Ange Loosa
- Cody Durden vs. Charles Johnson
- Julian Erosa vs. Fernando Padilla
- Hailey Cowan vs. Jamey-Lyn Horth
- Stephanie Egger vs. Irina Alekseeva
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