Ning “Smasher” Guangyou versus Yang “Tiger” Jianping opens the main card of UFC Fight Night 48 in Macau on August 23, 2014. It has been long-awaited.
The two featherweight finalists of the first ever “The Ultimate Fighter: China” reality show were supposed to meet each other about six months ago, but due to an injury to Yang it was reschedule. Now, the TUF China featherweight tournament can finally crown an official winner.
Ning (8-2-1), the first finalist, is a unique fighter from China in that he has a Greco-Roman background. When he utilizes his wrestling against opponents, he can take them to the ground and throw down vicious punches and elbows.
In the past, Ning has been sloppy with his stand up, however, on the TUF show he demonstrated improvements in his striking with two second round knockout wins leading him to the finals.
Yang (6-3-1 / many unrecorded), Ning’s opponent, is a submission savvy fighter recently training out of Tiger Muay Thai in Thailand. He has four (recorded) submission wins throughout his career – two rear-naked chokes and two armbars. During episode six of TUF China, he sunk in another armbar to finish Fu Changxin in the first round.
Also, in his second fight on the show Yang proved that he can go the distance as well by doing it for the first time against Yao Zhikui, younger brother of former Legend FC Champion Yao Honggang.
Most of the UFC audience haven’t been able to watch much of these two staples of the Chinese MMA scene. However, both fighters are very well-known in China, with Yang being almost a household name with his modeling career (he was on a milk carton – seriously) and numerous unrecorded fights across the country.
Ning is considered a “first generation” of Chinese mixed martial artists. He has only two losses on his record – a record also underestimated in all English media – and those were to current UFC fighter Kang Kyung-Ho and ROAD FC Lightweight Champion Kwon A-Sol.
Ning versus Yang: fight analysis
Since every fight starts standing up, Ning will have an advantage in that he has faced tougher competition and possesses a howitzer in his overhand left. Ning has a tendency to overextend while throwing the overhand left and leaves his head exposed so Yang will need to practice patience and throw counters to have a chance when they are throwing their appendages at each other.
Another aspect would be Ning’s ability to utilize his wrestling to take Yang down to execute his ground and pound. If Yang does end up on his back, which will most likely happen, he will have to stay active and attempt as many submissions while fending off the haymakers that Ning will be reigning down to finish the fight.