UFC Fight Night 172 Betting Pick: Song Yadong vs Marlon Vera

I am quickly falling in love with this fight card!

We just picked Edson Barboza over the up-and-coming Dan Ige.

As long as the Brazilian, Barboza, looks decent at the weigh-ins, I love that bet.

The matchup between Marlon Chito Vera and Song Yadong is intense!

Chito is known for his unrelenting forward pressure whether he is grappling and striking.

He gets better as the fight goes on but as you might expect, he is also quite the slow starter.

His opponent this Saturday night, China’s Yadong Song is a knockout artist with an incredibly high ceiling.

Both men are very young.

Chito has been fighting in the UFC for over 5 years now but still manages to look better and better every time he steps in there.

His ceiling is there too.

He doesn’t have the athleticism or power that Yadong possesses and that’s not something you can teach, generally speaking.

Marlon wears on guys early and really pours it on in the third round.

Song is more of a one-punch and you’re done kinda guy.

At 135 pounds, that’s not easy.

I would rank his power up there in the top 3 all-time in the Bantamweight division.

At the same time, though, I would put Vera in the top 5 pressure fighters the division has ever seen.

This fight is at 145 pounds, though.

Does that favor the volume striker with excellent cardio or the knockout artist?

Let’s answer that question and make our predictions for the matchup between Marlon Chito Vera vs Song “The Kung Fu Monkey” Yadong.

But first, though, a quick recap of how our picks fared last night.

UFC Fight Night 171 Betting Recap

Last night’s fights at UFC Fight Night 171 were pretty good. We saw several underdogs get the TKO finish including Glover Teixeira in the main event.

I almost picked him but couldn’t pull the trigger on a 40-year-old man.

We did take the over 2.5 rounds and it SOMEHOW hit.

You talk about lucky!

He dropped Anthony Smith in the beginning of the 3rd round. We needed to get to the 2:30 mark and I thought it could’ve easily been stopped 90 seconds in.

Smith face planted and Teixeira continued to punish him with big shots but his submission attempts in between the punches kept the fight going longer than it needed to.

Daniel Cormier, who was commentating the fight, thought that the corner of Smith should have stopped it.

They don’t call Anthony “Lionheart” for nothing, though. He has some amazing comeback wins in his career over some big hitters.

He was 99% cooked, though, and eventually, the referee had mercy and called off the beating.

That was one win. We hit Brian Kelleher for (+175)! That was nice. A few of my colleagues messaged me and said thanks for the pick.

We weren’t winning but this fight being contested up a weight class at 145 gave the underdog more pop in his punches and the left hook found its mark in the second round.

It was the first loss for Hunter Azure in his career.

I told you guys his defense was lazy!

We lost 2 and won 4 Wednesday night.

Ricky Simon was bigger than Ray Borg and he was able to take down the Tazmexican Devil more or less at will.

Ray showed some incredibly explosive boxing in that fight, though, making it a lot closer than it should have been.

Simon keeps his elbows high and pointed outward. That gave Ray the tell he needed to counter and the space to RIP body shots.

Borg’s striking has leveled up. There was zero wind/load up on his punches yet they were incredibly explosive.

Worst pick of the week goes to me when I said Ovince St Pruex would defeat Ben Rothwell.

That was almost as bad Werdum this past Saturday, ugh.

We had Michael Johnson at almost even money to defeat Brazilian, Thiago Moises. The fight was going exactly as I had envisioned with Mike was staying long and his speed advantage seemed to be too much for Moises in the first.

The Brazilian burst out of the gate in the second, though, shooting on Johnson immediately and quickly switching to a knee-reaping straight ankle lock forcing the tap.

Drew Dober came through for us, though, with a 2nd round TKO of Alexander Hernandez.

4-2 with a 37% ROI for the night betting 1 unit per fight.

You guys ready to pick another winner?

BetOnline.ag has the most valuable odds once again. Let’s do it!

Song Yadong (-186) vs Marlon Vera (+169)

Yadong should have even more gas in the tank at Featherweight and pack more power in his punches also.

Marlon is long, though. Let’s check the tale of the tape.

They are the same height of 5’7” but Chito will have a 3.5-inch reach advantage.

I picked against Chito in his last win when he beat Andre Ewell.

I thought the ridiculous length and sharp boxing of Andre would be too much for the Ecuadorian, Vera, but the thing with long arms is once your opponent closes the distance, that length works against you.

BJJ is the same. I have really long legs and some folks have a hard time in my guard.

Once they are past my guard, though, I have that much more length to make up and try to re-guard.

What’s stopping Vera from doing the same thing to Yadong?

  • For 1-Power
  • For 2-Power

Song Yadong just turned 22 in December.

I heard that he was fighting at the age of 15, though.

He is outstanding.

With speed, though, comes a sacrifice in endurance.

The inverse is true for Vera.

I just think at the higher weight class, Marlon’s stylistic edge shrinks and Song’s grows.

I love the way Yadong sits down in his stance. This sets him up for the overhand right against a longer opponent perfectly and it puts him in a better position to defend takedowns.

I think Vera is darned if he does and darned if he doesn’t in this one.

If he pushes forward, he is going to eat very hard shots. If he waits, the more accurate striker will eventually get the best of him.

My Pick

In Conclusion

I love these two guys. I think each fighter could potentially contend for the title.

They each have their own contrasting styles and it’s hard to argue against each man as one of the best in the division at what they do.

Marlon is going to want to push the pace and slow down the speedy Song.

Yadong is just a little too powerful and accurate for me to bet against him here.

If the fight was their normal weight class of 135, Vera would have excellent value granted the betting odds are the same.

The temporary move up to 145, though, just means more gas and more heat for the Chinese superstar.

As much as I didn’t want to pick against a warrior like Chito two times in a row, I believe I have to in this instance.

Song is still fairly affordable where he is right now at (-186). I wouldn’t wait too long to make a wager on this one.

Mike Pruitt / Author

Mike has been covering sports professionally since 2017 but on the amateur scene for 25 years since when he was 12. Before the internet changed the world, he would keep detailed statistical box scores of NFL and NBA contests, write recaps, and voluntarily commentate games and fights alone in his room. Mike's military experience, Bachelors Degree, and employment thereafter were always rooted in engineering, science, and teaching. Now he enjoys being able to express himself through writing about football, golf, and car racing among other sports but most of all fighting as his life has been rooted in mixed martial arts including competing and teaching for the past 15 years.