Cory Sandhagen walked away from his close fight against Song Yadong with a finish win due to a doctor stoppage.
After four rounds of action at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA on Saturday night, a doctor ruled that a cut on Song’s face was too great to keep him in the fight.
Song suffered a cut near his left eyebrow in the second round of the bout, with the shot being opened due to an elbow from Sandhagen. This wound was closely monitored as the fight progressed, although it started to worsen and continued to bleed as the fight carried on.
Eventually, with just one round left in the fight, the cut became too severe for the ringside physician to allow the fight to continue.
The stoppage put an end to what was an incredibly close fight at bantamweight. Song had clearly taken rounds against Sandhagen, connecting against him in fast-paced striking exchanges.
The main event on Saturday night got Sandhagen back into the win column after suffering a pair of high-profile losses last year.
Sandhagen’s last defeat was a five-round unanimous decision result against Petr Yan for the interim UFC Bantamweight Championship. Three months before then, he suffered a loss to former champion TJ Dillashaw.
After the fight, Sandhagen said he hopes to compete in December.
Saturday marked the first-ever main event appearance for Song.
He entered the card with a UFC record of eight wins through 10 appearances. He had a big win in his previous appearance, stopping veteran Marlon Moraes in the first round with punches.
Rodrigues Makes Impressive Comeback For Finish Win
In one of the more hectic fights of the year, Gregory Rodrigues overcame a brutal cut and mounted a comeback against Chidi Njokuani for a second-round victory.
Rodrigues had to overcome a tough first round to earn a finish win.
Rodrigues was hurt badly in the first round after Njokuani scored a clean knee to the head. Not only did this shot stun Rodrigues, but it opened a large cut in-between his eyebrows. Before the second round started, a doctor warned the referee to keep an eye on Rodrigues’ cut.
Rodrigues started the finishing sequence of the fight in the second round by scoring a takedown against Njokuani. After that, he unloaded ground and pound shots against a tired and covered-up Njokuani for a finish victory.
Rodrigues has now won four of his five fights in the UFC, with three of those victories coming via finish. Saturday’s bout was much like his 2021 fight against Park Jun-yong, where he absorbed damage before scoring a second-round win.
Njokuani has now taken his first loss since joining the UFC roster. His two previous fights in the roster saw him pick up first-round finish victories.
Fili Comes Back To Win Column In Close Result
Andre Fili picked up a massive win in his appearance this weekend, sneaking past Bill Algeo for a crucial victory.
Fili spent the first and second rounds in a close stand-up battle against Algeo. He started the battle strong, with Algeo heating up more in the second round and likely taking that frame on scorecards.
Fili went to the ground in the final frame, taking the back of Algeo for a rear naked choke. While the submission was fully applied briefly, Algeo later escaped the choke. After the fight, Fili attributed this moment to the amount of sweat that was involved in the fight at this point.
The close result earned Fili his first win in over two years. His previous three fights resulted in an unsatisfying two losses and one no contest.
Algeo was coming off a strong start to the year, beating Herbert Burns and Joanderson Brito.
Pyfer Scores Finish In UFC Debut
Joe Pyfer had a successful UFC debut on Saturday night, putting away Alen Amedovski in the first round with punches.
Pyfer dropped Amedovski in the fourth minute of their bout, scoring a clean overhand right as part of a two-punch combination. This blow hurt Amedovski visibly, and caused the bout to come to an end immediately.
Pyfer was making his UFC debut after becoming the stand-out star on this year’s “Dana White’s Contender Series” season. He was the sole fighter to get signed in the season premiere, and had his name as part of a catchphrase that UFC President Dana White coined during a “Contender Series” episode: “Be Joe Pyfer.”
Pyfer’s record is now a strong 10 wins through 12 pro fights. This fight was somewhat of a quick turnaround, as his “Contender Series” bout was only in July.
Amedovski is now winless through four UFC fights, and has been finished in the first round of four of those fights.
Nascimento Overcomes Boser In Return
Rodrigo Nascimento picked up a win in his return on Saturday night, picking up a split decision victory over Tanner Boser.
Nascimento mostly succeeded with his ability to keep Boser on the ground. He spent numerous minutes in control on the ground against Boser, periodically landing strikes from these positions.
Boser had quick blitzes of combinations on the feet. He notably had a late rush in the final minute of the fight, charging at Nascimento with punches.
One of the three judges saw a win for Boser, although the two others scored the fight for Nascimento.
Both heavyweights were competing for the first time in over a year.
Nascimento scored his first win since May 2020. His two previous appearances before this weekend resulted in a loss and a no contest.
Boser was coming off a win against Ovince St. Preux, although that fight dated back to June 2021.
Hernandez Caps Off Dominant Showing With Submission
Anthony Hernandez had a dominant win on Saturday night, submitting Marc-Andre Barriault late with an arm triangle choke.
Hernandez got Barriault to the ground in the third round, spiking him on his head with a takedown. He was then able to slip in an arm triangle choke that put Barriault to sleep, ending the fight.
Hernandez dominated Barriault on the ground in earlier rounds of the bout, getting him to the ground and doing damage with ground and pound strikes.
Barriault seemingly suffered an injury to his body early in the fight. After the first round he told his team that he worried about a broken rib, per the official UFC broadcast. Barriault held his body while he appeared for the official decision after the fight.
Hernandez has now scored three consecutive wins since early 2021. Previous victories in his current streak came against Rodolfo Vieira and Josh Fremd.
Barriault was riding the momentum of a first-round finish win that he scored over Jordan Wright in April.
The Rest of the Card
Damon Jackson had an emotional win to end the prelims, defeating Pat Sabatini just days after he learned about the passing of his brother. The win saw Jackson hurt Sabatini with a front kick, then finish him with ground and pound. Jackson has now won five of his six UFC victories.
Trevin Giles snapped a two-fight skid on Saturday, winning a slow-paced battle over Louis Cosce. Through two UFC fights, Cosce has yet to win.
Loma Lookboonmee had a tough test on Saturday night, using ground and pound to defeat short-notice UFC newcomer Denise Gomes.
Gillian Robertson battled past a tough first round to pick up a rear naked choke submission over Mariya Agapova in the second round, putting her to sleep with the hold.
Just days after his brother, Farid Basharat, won a UFC contract, Javid Basharat put on a strong three-round stand-up performance against Tony Gravely for a unanimous decision win. Basharat now has an undefeted record of 13 wins, including two in the UFC cage.
Nikolas Motta picked up his first UFC win to open the evening, stopping Cameron VanCamp in the first round with a slick left hook.
Main Card (7:00PM EDT / 4:00PM PDT) (ESPN+ / TSN 2)
Bout 13: Cory Sandhagen def. Song Yadong via TKO, Strikes (RD 4, 5:00)
Bout 12: Gregory Rodrigues def. Chidi Njokuani via TKO, Strikes (RD 2, 1:27)
Bout 11: Andre Fili def. Bill Algeo via Decision, Split
Bout 10: Joe Pyfer def. Alen Amedovski via TKO, Strikes (RD 1, 3:55)
Bout 9: Rodrigo Nascimento def. Tanner Boser via Decision, Split
Bout 8: Anthony Hernandez def. Marc-Andre Barriault via Submission, Arm Triangle Choke (RD 3, 1:53)
Preliminary Card (4:00PM EDT / 1:00PM PDT) (ESPN+ / TSN 2)
Bout 7: Damon Jackson def. Pat Sabatini via TKO, Strikes (RD 1, 1:09)
Bout 6: Trevin Giles def. Louis Cosce via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 5: Loma Lookboonmee def. Denise Gomes via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 4: Trey Ogden def. Daniel Zellhuber via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 3: Gillian Robertson def. Mariya Agapova via Submission, Rear Naked Choke (RD 2, 2:19)
Bout 2: Javid Basharat def. Tony Gravely via Decision, Unanimous
Bout 1: Nikolas Motta def. Cameron VanCamp via TKO, Strikes (RD 1, 3:49)