3 Under the Radar Bouts: UFC Beijing
With the UFC’s Argentinian debut in the rear-view mirror, the world’s largest MMA organization heads overseas to China for an early morning card for the fans in the U.S. Headlining this event is a rematch between top five heavyweights when Francis Ngannou battles the surging Curtis Blaydes, a talent he defeated in 2016. The remainder of the card features many local Asian talents and an opportunity to deliver for the fans worldwide. Here are three fights that are flying under the radar for the UFC Beijing card.
Weili Zhang vs. Jessica Aguilar
Two of the most experienced strawweights tangle when China’s own Zhang (17-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) takes on the well-traveled Aguilar (20-6 MMA, 1-2 UFC). The former WSOF champion and former #1-world ranked Aguilar finally found the win column in her last outing when she bested Jodie Esquibel this past July. At 36-years-old, “Jag” will need to be make a run now if she hopes to one day compete with the best in the division. She’ll face an exciting, energetic opponent in Zhang who is riding a 17-fight win-streak. “Magnum” has only gone the distance twice in her 17-win career, one being her UFC debut victory over Danielle Taylor in August. This should be a fun one.
Song Kenan vs. Alex Morono
A couple of welterweights with strong striking abilities are matched up in Beijing as Kenan (14-4 MMA, 2-0 UFC) gets the home crowd advantage against Morono (14-5 (1 NC) MMA, 3-2 (1 NC) UFC). The 28-year-old “Assassain” has been flawless thus far in the UFC, knocking out both Bobby Nash and Hector Aldana. But the heavy-handed Kenan faces his stiffest test yet in the Texan Morono. While only two of his six UFC outings ended before the final bell, Morono puts a high-volume striking attack with a balanced grappling prowess. Now working alongside the talented group at Fortis MMA, expect to see the best Morono yet. This could be an all-out battle on the feet filled with high-intensity, powerful exchanges.
Song Yadong vs. Vince Morales
There is a lot to be excited about for Team Alpha Male’s Yadong (13-4 MMA, 2-0 UFC). The 20-year-old owns two sensational finishes in his two UFC outings, most recently knocking out Brazilian veteran Felipe Arantes with a devastating standing elbow. His all-action approach is one to look out for at UFC Beijing. However, his opponent Morales (8-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) never shies away from a firefight. Just look at his Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series bout against Domingo Pilarte. The cousin of streaking UFC bantamweight Ricky Simon, Morales owns five KO/TKO finishes on his resume. This fight is bound to be high-paced and entertaining for the Chinese fans.