Song Yadong vs. Ricky Simon betting odds, tips 1

A thriller is on the cards at UFC Fight Night 223 this weekend as Song Yadong faces Ricky Simon in a tantalizing main event.

With Yadong’s striking prowess and Simon’s relentless wrestling, it’s an MMA chess match that’s got the odds-makers working overtime. Read on as we dissect this electrifying matchup, offering you the best betting tips and odds before the UFC Fight Night 223 main event.

Betting Odds

Ricky Simon’s the betting favorite at odds of -136. Song’s a slight underdog and can be found at + odds at some sites, including BetUS.

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Fight Analysis

Song Yadong, an 11-fight UFC veteran, is still just 25 years old. The culmination of vast UFC experience with that of still being outside of the age range widely considered to be MMA prime is very unique. Beyond this uniqueness, it is quite scary to think that Yadong has still yet to hit his prime, as he is one of the most electrifying fighters in the bantamweight division with dwindling flaws in his fight game.

From a fight-strength perspective, Song Yadong has an elite striking arsenal built on the ability to blend lightning-quick punches with snapping power. Whether it is landing underrated calf kicks from the outside or using impressive footwork to get in range, land a lighting-fast boxing combination, and exit range before getting countered, Yadong can strike with the best of them.

While his offensive striking is sound, Yadong can get into trouble with falling in love with getting into a striking war, as he is more than willing to wear one to give one. Moreover, being a sound offensive striker, he has faced trouble in the past with getting grappled. This defensive grappling issue was far more prevalent in years past than in recent note, as he has fought far more pragmatically, and when in balance, he has more than sound wrestling to stuff takedowns. That newfound ability to confidently stuff takedowns, and in fact, successfully offensive wrestle talented grapplers will be at an all-time test for him in this fight, and if he can pass it, then his hands give him more than a chance to win.

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As referenced above, Ricky Simon is an incredible wrestler. Somewhat similarly to Merab Dvalishvili, Simon puts on a constant, in-your-face pressure that is relentless and cardio-depleting for his opponents to deal with. Moreover, Simon, just like Merab, will pursue the takedown over and over, thus making him a very consistent fighter in the octagon with a sustained path to victory.

The scary aspect of Simon’s fight game, beyond having unrelenting and talented wrestling, is the fact that he has serious power on the feet, and, understands how to leverage this power to exacerbate his wrestling success. Often, when a fighter uses overhand punches to get in close and wrestle, I coin them “wrestle boxers”, and Simon is not only befitting of this tag but perhaps, at the top of the wrestle-boxer mountain for all UFC fighters.

As one can presume when watching predominate wrestlers in the UFC, the flaw in Simon’s fight game is when his wrestling is not as effective as he would like. If the takedown is continually stalled, Simon lacks fluid, technical striking on the feet to defend against talented striking technicians. While the case, this simply does not come to fruition all that often, as he has implemented his will on his opponents, who, many, are very talented UFC fighters with sound grappling acumen; but for Simon, the technical wrestling coupled with unrelenting pressure and natural strength, he has been able to get fighters to the mat, and once there, he is very heavy and has good submissions as well as ground and pound.

Betting Tips

The best thing Song Yadong has going for him is training in Team Alpha Male. This gym is littered with impressive wrestlers, many of whom fight at his weight. Couple this with the fact he is already a good wrestler with talented striking, and he can certainly win this fight.

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While this is the case, I cannot go against the freight train that is Ricky Simon. Simon displayed an ability to implement his will in his last fight against the talented Jack Shore, as he completely dominated from start to finish. I expect him to do the same, but the degree of domination will likely be less given the talent of Yadong.

Ultimately, I anticipate this fight looking quite similar to Merab vs Petr Yan, whereby Merab used unrelenting cardio to disallow the uber-talented Yan to get anything going in that fight. Because of this, I am taking Simon, and because the price is more than bettable, I am taking him straight here.

Pick: Ricky Simon to win (-136 at BetUS)

Read more: Braeden Arbour’s Ricky Simon vs. Song Yadong prediction

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