- What: UFC Vegas 72 / UFC Fight Night 223
- Main Event: Song Yadong vs. Ricky Simon bantamweight fight
- Date: Saturday, April 29, 2023
- Location: UFC Apex in Las Vegas, NV
- Time: Prelims (4:00 p.m. ET), Main Card (7:00 p.m. ET)
- How to Watch: Prelims (ESPN+). Main Card (ESPN+)
The UFC is at the Apex in Las Vegas for a second straight week, as the promotion presents UFC Vegas 72 fight card from that venue on Saturday, April 29. The card, also known as UFC Fight Night 223, is headlined by a bantamweight contest between Song Yadong and Ricky Simon. Here is some background on the card’s main event fighters before we discuss, in detail, the betting breakdown of the UFC Vegas 72: Song vs. Simon fight card.
Song heads into the UFC Fight Night 223 main event as the No. 8 fighter in the official UFC bantamweight rankings. The 25-year-old was on a three-fight winning streak heading into his most recent bout, a main event contest opposite Cory Sandhagen in September 2022. That fight ended at the end of the fourth round via doctor stoppage after a cut Sandhagen opened on Song’s eyebrow earlier in the fight left Song unable to continue in the eyes of the cageside physician.
Simon enters Saturday’s UFC Vegas 72 fight card as the No. 10 fighter in the UFC’s 135-pound weight class. The 30-year-old is on a five-fight winning streak, with his most recent victory coming in July 2022 when he scored a second-round submission win over Jack Shore.
Before we look at the best bets for the main event of the UFC Vegas 72 card from between Song Yadong and Ricky Simon, check out the best UFC betting sites and where you can find the best odds on all the UFC fights
UFC Vegas 72 main event: Song Yadong vs. Ricky Simon betting picks
Song Yadong vs. Ricky Simon breakdown
The question heading into Song Yadong‘s fight opposite Cory Sandhagen is if he was ready to face elite competition in the UFC’s bantamweight division. When the fight ended because of the cut, two of the judges had the contest scored at 38-38, while the other judge had Sandhagen ahead 39-37. Judging by the scorecards and how he handled himself against a former interim UFC bantamweight title challenger, Song is ready to face top competition in the UFC’s 135-pound division.
In the main event of UFC Fight Night 223, Ricky Simon faces the question Song answered last year, is he ready to face the best of the bantamweight division? Simon has been moving up the rankings. Still, his 2019 losses to an aging Urijah Faber and a heavy-handed Rob Font, leave questions about Simon’s upside as a potential title challenger.
Song Yadong vs. Ricky Simon analysis
The most interesting stats heading into the main event of UFC Vegas 72 are strikes landed per minute, strikes absorbed per minute and takedown average per 15 minutes.
Song lands more significant strikes per minute than Simon at 4.55 to 3.04, but Song also gets hit more often. He absorbs 3.93 significant strikes per minute to Simon’s 2.95. As for takedowns, Simon lands an average of 6.55 takedowns per 15 minutes, while Song is at just 0.63.
Song is a power striker. He throws everything with the intent of ending the fight. Simon is an active wrestler/grappler. Song’s willingness to swing for the fences has allowed him to pick up 8 career knockout wins. However, that style opens him up to takedown attempts. While his defense is sound, Simon is relentless in his wrestling attacks, and sooner or later, Song will get tired of defending those takedowns. He will hit the mat and enter Simon’s world, that is if he doesn’t tag Simon with one of his big punches and end the fight early.
Best UFC Vegas 72 bets
The betting odds for the Song vs. Simon fight are tight for a reason, there’s no clear favorite here. Song can rack up points via damage with his powerful striking or get the knockout. Meanwhile, Simon can pick up takedowns and sway the judges in his direction via ground control and submission attempts. How one bets on the UFC Vegas 72 main event comes down to what style one favors.
My UFC Vegas 72 betting pick is to go with the wrestler with the aggressive takedowns and ability to keep the fight on the mat. With that, my best bets for UFC Fight Night 223 are for the bantamweight bout to go the distance and for Ricky Simon to win via decision.
Best UFC Vegas 72 main event betting pick: Ricky Simon to beat Song Yadong by decision.
See below a list of reliable sportsbooks and choose the best one for you.