There no reason to doubt this when you do the math. Four active years in the UFC without a loss is exemplary for any level of fighter at any stage of their career, but it’s near mind-boggling that Song made his successful short notice debut against Bharat Khandare at the tender age of 19.

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“About two years,” he says when asked when he expects to be fighting for the same honor that Petr Yan and Aljamain Sterling will decide later Saturday evening on the main card (“Sterling has the advantage,” he adds with a smile). It’s a modest and realistic timeline that seems to square with Song as a whole, and he is well aware of his opportunity to continue to shine the light on Chinese MMA and share the glory of compatriots like Zhang Weili.

“It feels very special. I have a huge number of people backing me, and I feel I have to give a great performance for them.”