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Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC)

UFC Singapore sees Song ‘Terminator’ Yadong unload and Li ‘The Leech’ Jingliang win as Chinese fighters power through

Main event sees Leon ‘Rocky’ Edwards stop Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone run at promotion history

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 23 June, 2018, 11:08pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 23 June, 2018, 11:57pm

“The Terminator” said the move wasn’t special.

Who’s he kidding?

Rising Chinese star Song Yadong (12-2) left his mark on Brazilian Brazilian Filipe “Sertanejo” Arantes (18-10-1, two no contests) – and on the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) – at Fight Night 132 on Saturday night.

It came in the shape of a huge right elbow with one second left in the second round. It sent Arantes to the canvas and the 20-year-old Song into delirium. He is 2-0 in the UFC now and his future in the bantamweight division looks very bright indeed.

“The elbow wasn’t something that I planned but I am always looking for ways to finish the fight,” said Song Yadong. “I have been working very hard and this is my reward.”

He also took performance of the night.

Enter the Dragons: UFC on guard as it prepares for wave of Chinese fighters at elite level

The night culminated in a wild and bloody welterweight battle that saw rising British fighter Leon “Rocky” Edwards move to 16-3 and stop the veteran American Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (33-11, one no contest) and his quest to set the record for most wins in the UFC with a unanimous victory after five torrid rounds.

It was tactical genius from the 26-year-old who peppered Cerrone early, opening a nasty cut over the 35-year-old’s right eye – and then he danced and moved and stayed in control.

Cerrone was left throwing punches into the air where his younger opponent once had been. But he remained a star, even in defeat.

“How can you not love that?” said the battered and bloodied Cowboy.

UFC star Conor McGregor in court after throwing a handcart at a bus full of fighters in New York

For Edwards, there will no doubt now be even bigger bouts in the offering and he came to this party knowing victory would present him with just that.

“Thanks to Cowboy for giving me this experience,” said Edwards. “I grew up watching you and it was an honour to fight you. Now let’s see where this can take me.”

UFC Singapore 2018 fight card sets up Chinese charge with Li ‘The Leech’ Jingliang looking past eye gouge

Veteran light heavyweight Ovince “OSP” Saint Preux (23-11) had shown the value of his vast experience on the co-main event when dusting himself off from an early knockdown to lockdown Australia’s Pedro Tyson (7-2) into an arm bar that ended it at 2.54 of the first.

The 35-year-old American is now looking for a title shot against incumbent and compatriot Daniel “DC” Cormier (20-1, one no contest) while the 26-year-old Pedro will look to learn from his experiences.

‘Terminator’ is back at UFC Fight Night 132 in Singapore as Song Yadong and Song Kenan plot Chinese dynasty

China’s fighters are certainly doing just that. Song Yadong completely overpowered a vastly more experienced fighter in Arantes and it was a tribute to his work ethic – and his desire to make an impact in the UFC. The Tianjin-born fighter has been a pro since he was 15 and is now, as he likes to remind everyone, “living the dream.”

“The pressure of success only motivates me. The more the better,” said Song Yadong. “I’ve been training hard and am ready for the UFC to come back to China. When I got to debut last year in China, it meant everything.

Being able to be on another Chinese card will mean Chinese fans can understand MMA more but the world can see the Chinese culture up close through the lens of MMA.”

Song Yadong was one of four Chinese fighters on the 13-bout card. Four came, and four walked away winners too which no doubt pleases the power brokers at the world’s largest MMA promotion almost as much as it does fans across the mainland.

Welterweight Song “The Assassin’ Kenan (13-3) also provided a shot for the UFC’s highlight reel – in this case is was a straight right that sent Mexico’s Hector Aldana (4-1) down and out at 4.42 of the second.

Like Song Yadong, it was just the 28-year-old’s second time out inside the UFC’s Octagon but, like his compatriot, he shook up the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

“I have a lot of confidence in my striking so I always try to keep the fight there,” said Song Kenan. “If I am able to drop my opponent, I am confident on the ground as well.”

Yan “Fury” Xiaonan was the first Chinese fighter out and into action and the 29-year-old moved her record to 9-1 – and 2-0 in the UFC – simply through sheer weight of numbers.

With height and reach on her side she peppered Brazilian Viviane “Sucuri” Pereria (13-2) continuously for a lopsided unanimous decision. Again, bigger tests will come but you can’t do more than win.

“I trained to keep distance and use space,” said Yan. “I think executed my plan perfectly.”

It was left to the “veteran” welterweight – at 30 – Li “The Leech” Jingliang (15-5) to round the night out for China, and he monstered Japan’s Daichi Abe (6-2) over three rounds on the main card.

“Anyone in the welterweight division who wants to fight me, come on,” said Li. “I want to fight in Beijing.”

Are you listening, Dana White?