Former interim bantamweight title challenger Cory Sandhagen bounced back into winning form with a TKO finish of Song Yadong at UFC Fight Night 210 in Las Vegas.

Heading into the bout on the first two-fight skid of his career, Sandhagen needed a big performance, and he got one with a fourth-round doctor stoppage finish after a bloody battle with the rising Chinese contender.

The bout itself was a highly competitive one, with Song showing his own elite-level credentials by giving Sandhagen plenty of problems during the contest – indeed, Song briefly had Sandhagen on wobbly legs after a big left hand found its mark in Round 2. But Sandhagen recovered and later in that round he landed the strike that would eventually force the finish.

A well-timed elbow connected cleanly on Song, splitting open his left eyebrow. It was a bad enough laceration to prompt the cageside doctor to inspect the wound immediately at the end of Round 2, but declared the Chinese fighter good to continue into the third.

But, one round later, the cut looked significantly worse, with the doctor informing referee Herb Dean that if it worsened further, he should consider stopping the fight. Then, with the fighters on their stools at the end of the fourth round, the doctor took the decision himself and advised the fight be stopped before the start of the fifth round.

‘Robocop’ comes back for dramatic win

In the co-main event, a cut and bloodied Gregory Rodrigues claimed a second-round finish of Chidi Njokuani to register his second stoppage victory in the space of three months.

Rodrigues found himself on the receiving end in the first round as Njokuani landed a huge knee that left the stunned Brazilian with a nasty cut between his eyes.

But “Robocop” showed his grit to keep going and make it to the end of the round, where he was checked over by the doctor, who seemed not too happy for Rodrigues to take much more punishment on the cut.

Nonetheless, the fight was tentatively allowed to continue, and Rodrigues made the most of his opportunity, taking Njokuani to the mat and hammering him with ground strikes to claim a come-from-behind TKO victory.

Fili defeats Algeo in bloody war

The featherweight bout between Andre Fili and Bill Algeo engaged in a hugely entertaining battle that went all the way to the scorecards, with Fili eventually getting the nod from the judges via split decision.

Both men appeared to be thoroughly enjoying themselves as they traded shots and complimented each other on their techniques during the 15-minute matchup, but it was Fili’s strikes that carried the greater threat.

By the time the third round had arrived, Algeo was cut and bleeding from the forehead, and Fili looked comfortably in control. That control was even more marked when the action went to the canvas and he locked up a body triangle on “Senior Perfecto,” before searching for a rear-naked choke finish. Algeo did a superb job of avoiding the submission through a combination of hand-fighting, sheer guts, and a little slipperiness as a result of his cut, as he took the fight to the scorecards.

But the split-decision verdict deservedly went to Fili, who revealed that he had been fighting with a heavy heart after losing his unborn baby in the lead-up to the fight.

Pyfer enjoys winning debut

The event also saw the UFC debut of Contender Series graduate Joe Pyfer, who flattened Macedonia’s Alen Amedovski inside a round to get his UFC career off to a flying start on his 26th birthday.

Pyfer looked comfortable from the start, and quickly found his range on his shorter opponent. From that point on, it was largely one-way traffic as Pyfer walked down his man and hit the jackpot with a big right hand that sent Amedovski crashing to the mat.

 

UFC Fight Night 210: Official Results

MAIN CARD

  • Cory Sandhagen def. Song Yadong via TKO (doctor stoppage) – Round 4, 5:00
  • Gregory Rodrigues def. Chidi Njokuani via TKO (ground strikes) – Round 2, 1:27
  • Andre Fili def. Bill Algeo via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Joe Pyfer def. Alen Amedovski via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 3:55
  • Rodrigo Nascimento def. Tanner Boser via split decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)
  • Anthony Hernandez vs. Marc-Andre Barriault via technical submission (arm-triangle choke) – Round 3, 1:53

PRELIMINARY CARD

  • Damon Jackson def. Pat Sabatini via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 1:09
  • Trevin Giles vs. Louis Cosce via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Loma Lookboonmee def. Denise Gomes via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
  • Trey Ogden def. Daniel Zellhuber via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
  • Gillian Robertson def. Mariya Agapova via technical submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 2:19
  • Javid Basharat def. Tony Gravely via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Nikolas Motta def. Cameron VanCamp via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 3:49