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MMA Preview: UFC on ESPN+ 91 – Song Yadong (20-7-2) vs. Chris Gutiérrez (20-5-2)

The Song Yadong vs. Chris Gutiérrez Bantamweight fight is headlining UFC on ESPN+ 91 for a reason. This is a super interesting matchup, with two well-rounded fighters famous for never giving up.

UFC Betting Odds Song Yadong vs. Chris Gutiérrez

MoneylineOdds
Song Yadong-370
Chris Gutiérrez+295

*Odds taken from Sports Odds Direct on Friday, December 8.

When, Where, and How to Watch?

Place: UFC Apex, Enterprise (Las Vegas), Nevada

Date: Saturday, December 9, 2023

Time: 10:00 p.m. ET

How to Watch: ESPN+

Even though he currently resides in sunny California, Song Yadong (20-7-2) is originally from Northeastern China’s Heilongjiang province. That’s where he started his professional MMA career after competing in grappling, Muay Thai, and Sanda (a.k.a. Chinese kickboxing).

Each of his first 20 professional fights took place in Asia, with 18 of those happening in China. Since inking a deal with the UFC, he’s fought in Asia three times, winning each time. He was supposed to fight in Asia – in Shanghai, to be precise – this coming weekend, but the UFC decided to relocate the December 9 event to Vegas.

The result is that he won’t be fighting on his own turf, which explains why his odds have moved slightly against him over the last couple of days – from -400 to -383.

Nevertheless, Song Yadong still remains a huge favorite. The main reason is that this is a guy who always throws everything he’s got at the opponent.

Even in his most recent loss, which happened in September 2022, he fought like a true warrior. He lost to Cory Sandhagen by TKO, that is, doctor stoppage. This fight, however, showed that he’s tough as nails – he kept fighting even though he was having triple vision due to an orbital fracture.

The best thing is that he didn’t let the loss get to him. Just seven months later, he came back into the Octagon and destroyed Ricky Simon with punches. Can he do the same to Chris Gutiérrez at UFC Fight Night 233?

Chris Gutiérrez is 20-5-2 and has never been knocked out in his career. Actually, he’s without a loss by stoppage since losing to Raoni Barcelos by submission in the 2018 The Ultimate Fighter Finale.

“El Guapo” is a hell of a striker who lands over 5 significant strikes a minute. He’s also great defensively, moving fast and dodging opponent’s punches and kicks – Gutiérrez gets hit only 2.73 times a minute.

The American is also great when it comes to takedown defense. His TD defense is 71%, and he was taken down only 11 times in his 11 UFC fights. We say “only” because he’s fought some really good wrestlers, including Cody Durden, Frankie Edgar, and so on.

Knowing all this, he seems capable of going to war with his Chinese opponent at UFC Shanghai. However, there’s one thing that needs to worry him. It’s been a while since he last fought a 5-round bout.

In fact, he’s never done it in the UFC. Actually, his only 25-minute fight happened in a Street Combat System (SCS) event in 2015.

Our Song vs. Gutiérrez prediction is that this is going to be a great battle, which could easily win the Fight of the Night accolade. We also predict that the fight is going to last for at least three rounds, although we’re not certain it will last until the final bell.

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