UFC Shanghai gets new main event

The UFC's hard luck run of 2024 main events continues.

By: Zane Simon | 4 weeks ago
UFC Shanghai gets new main event
Song Yadong in his UFC bout against Ricky Simon. | Louis Grasse / ZUMA Wire, IMAGO

It’s been a rough end of the year for UFC plans, with several teased and booked fights falling by the wayside. Although it’s largely been PPV cards getting hit by the injury bug, Fight Night headliners haven’t been entirely spared. Most notably a bantamweight bout planned for the promotion’s return to Shanghai on December 9th, between former champion Petr Yan and rising contender Song Yadong.

The fight was so early in its planning stages, that fans didn’t even know it existed before Yadong revealed in early October that the bout had been cancelled.

“Petr Yan is injured,” the fighter revealed in a post on social media. “Talking with Sean [Shelby] now. Trying to figure out options.”

UFC books Chris Gutierrez vs. Song Yadong

At the time the original fight cancellation was announced, the bantamweight division appeared wide open for booking. However, a closer examination of the UFC rankings quickly proved that options were likely going to be extremely limited in terms of the number of fighters willing or able to headline a fight by the end of the year.

Considering all the options at the time, it seemed likely that Pedro Munhoz would be a front-runner for the fight, but with both Jonathan Martinez and Chris Gutierrez emerging largely unscathed from recent dominant performances they had to be considered real possibilities for taking the bout.

That makes it little surprise, then to hear that Gutierrez is the man getting the call. Fresh off a dominant decision win over Alateng Heili at UFC Fight Night; Yusuff vs. Barboza, ‘El Guapo’ is currently sitting tight in the #14 spot in the promotion’s official rankings. That situation wasn’t enough to get him off the prelims last time out, and after securing victory, the 32-year-old made it known he was none to pleased about being overlooked.

“I hate to say it, but you put me on the prelims, you know?” Gutierrez replied, when asked what he wanted for his next fight. “I’m ranked #15, I earned my way to the top. So, the next one, hopefully I get on the main card.”

MagicM_MMABets first reported the fight booking on X/Twitter. MMA Fighting has since confirmed Gutierrez vs. Song for the UFC Shanghai main event.

Still just 25-years-old #7 ranked Song Yadong will enter the fight with Gutierrez off a 5th Round TKO win over Ricky Simon back in April of this year. That bout provided a much needed bounce-back for the Team Alpha Male talent who suffered just the second stoppage loss of his career last year against Cory Sandhagen.

Song Yadong robbed

A few months ago Song Yadong had a much more shocking reason for making headlines. The UFC fighter revealed in a post to his Instagram account that he had been robbed at gunpoint by four men in ski masks, while stopped at a gas station on the way home from San Francisco to Sacramento. Apparently the men were laying in wait for unwary passers by.

Dear Friends.

I want to share with you a recent experience that I never thought I would encounter. Last Wednesday at dawn, at a gas station, my friend and I were robbed by four masked individuals. They were armed, and we were in a perilous situation. They took all the valuables we had on us. Fortunately, we are safe.

Even though I am a professional fighter, I chose to surrender. Because I knew that facing their guns, my fists couldn’t compete, I couldn’t be faster than a bullet. At that moment, I felt a sense of helplessness I had never felt before.

In an interview shortly after the event, Song revealed that his friend had been pistolwhipped during the encounter, and was robbed of his wallet, money, a ring and a necklace. For his part, Song says he turned over a necklace, his wallet, and his cell phone. According to reports, the employee at the gas station refused to call police, and the manager of the business claimed that footage of the robbery had already been deleted.

Join the new Bloody Elbow

Our Substack is where we feature the work of writers like Zach Arnold, John Nash and Connor Reubusch. We’re fighting for the sport, the fighters and the fans. Please help us by subscribing today.

Share this story

About the author
Zane Simon
Zane Simon

Zane Simon is a senior editor, writer, and podcaster for Bloody Elbow. He has worked with the website since 2013, taking on a wide variety of roles. A lifelong combat sports fan, Zane has trained off & on in both boxing and Muay Thai. He currently hosts the long-running MMA Vivisection podcast, which he took over from Nate Wilcox & Dallas Winston in 2015, as well as the 6th Round podcast, started in 2014. Zane is also responsible for developing and maintaining the ‘List of current UFC fighters’ on Bloody Elbow, a resource he originally developed for Wikipedia in 2010.

More from the author

Bloody Elbow Podcast
Related Stories