Song Yadong isn’t particularly thrilled about Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 197 matchup with Julio Arce, but he’s realistic about why it’s happening.

“This name doesn’t really excite me because I don’t know him too much,” Yadong told MMA Junkie at Wednesday’s UFC Fight Night 197 media day. “I know he’s a tough opponent and I’m well prepared for this fight.”

Yadong (16-4-1 MMA, 6-1-1 UFC) is one of the top young prospects in the bantamweight division. The 23-year-old from China has amassed a solid record thus far in the octagon, and although he feels it’s earned him some bigger names, he said activity is more important at this stage of his career.

That led him to the fight with an unranked name in Arce (17-4 MMA, 4-2 UFC), who has proven skillful in his UFC tenure and is only a slight betting underdog. They meet in a main card bout at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, and it streams on ESPN+.

Yadong’s past two wins have come against respected names in Marlon Vera and Casey Kenny. That briefly put him in the UFC’s official rankings, but he doesn’t have a number next to his name going into Saturday’s fight.

He hopes that changes with his performance, so he can land in some more high-profile fights.

“Fighting a little more gives me a little more experience and I want to be ranked again soon.”


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