Yan Xiaonan looks set to become the second Chinese strawweight to crack the top 15 after her decision win over Angela Hill yesterday. She made it four wins out of four with the victory in Chicago.
The two faced off at UFC 238 in a fight that was close and competitive. The American got the better of the opening round as she was able to take Yan down and then attack with submissions when the roles were reversed.
The round finished with Yan in top position but she was the one doing the defending as Hill looked for an armbar and then transitioned to a triangle choke only for the bell to come to her opponent’s rescue.
In the second stanza Yan was the aggressor and landed kicks to the head and body. A straight right seemed to hurry Hill who stumbled backwards and was struggling to cope with the Chinese fighter’s intensity.
Hill tried to return fire but Yan was clearly getting the better of the exchanges and she scored with another straight right towards the end of the round. It left the fight delicately poised heading into the final round with both fighters knowing that the contest was probably dead even.
In round three Hill hurt Yan with a couple of overhand rights but struggled with the pace Yan was setting. The Chinese fighter attacked relentlessly and landed low kicks, body kicks and side kicks.
It made for a nervous wait while the scorecards were tabulated but all three judges had it 29-28 in favour of Yan who improves to 11-1 while Hill drops to 9-7.
A fourth straight UFC win could be enough to see Yan break into the top 15. She would join compatriot Weili Zhang who is currently ranked at #6.