Yan Xiaonan recorded the biggest win of her professional career, defeating former title contender Karolina Kowalkiewicz at UFC Auckland on Sunday.

The 30-year-old put on an all-around performance, shutting out the Polish heroine en route to a clear-cut unanimous decision with scorecards reading 30-26 across the board.

For the entirety of the women’s strawweight showdown, Yan looked a step ahead on all fronts as she easily prevented Kowalkiewicz from employing her own offense, while also picking her opponent apart with crisp boxing combinations.

Yan Xiaonan kicks Karolina Kowalkiewicz

Winning streak

Yan landed a solid punch to Kowalkiewicz’s eye that immediately caused noticeable trouble with her vision. She was questioned by the ringside physician after the first round but was allowed to continue.

Kowalkiewicz tried valiantly to pull off the victory in the third round, pressuring Yan and committing a lot of time and effort to a leg lock. But she could not find a path to complete the comeback, losing for the fourth time in a row and dropping to 12-6.

Meanwhile, Yan improved her MMA record to 12-1. In addition, she remains unbeaten over her past 11 fights going back to her sole career loss, which came in September 2010.

Yan Xiaonan punches Karolina Kowalkiewicz

Stirring performance

Chinese prospect Song Kenan (16-5) turned in a stirring performance at UFC Fight Night 168, attaining a first-round knockout win over Australia’s Callan Potter (18-9) in a welterweight clash.

Song patiently waited for the right moment to pounce on his seasoned counterpart. When he saw a good opening to strike, the Chinese dropped Potter to the canvas with a stiff right hand.

A few punches from Song soon followed, but the referee was quick to jump in at the 2:20 mark of the opening salvo and rescued Potter before any further damage could be inflicted.

Following his scintillating win, Song admitted that he went through a tough training camp. He had to be separated from his family after he was forced to leave his home country due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.

The end result still paid off, however, as Song authored a highlight-reel victory. In his post-fight interview, he gave his heartfelt support to the people back home who are still suffering through the spread of the disease that has claimed more than 2,000 lives.

“It was a bit difficult for [this training camp] because of the Chinese virus situation,” Song said. “I would like to say stay strong China. Stay strong Wuhan!”

Falling short

Thailand’s Loma Lookboonmee (4-2) fell short in her bid to clinch her second-straight win under the UFC banner, yielding to replacement opponent Angela Hill (12-7) of the United States by way of unanimous decision in a three-round women’s strawweight scrap.

Hill put her height and reach advantage to good use as she kept Lookboonmee out of range for the majority of the encounter, and the Thai standout had difficulty closing the distance.

In the end, all three cageside judges saw the bout in favor of Hill to win by unanimous decision with the scores of 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28.

UFC Auckland, February 22nd, Auckland
Dan Hooker def. Paul Felder via split decision
Jim Crute def. Michal Oleksiejczuk via submission (kimura) — Round 1, 3:29
Yan Xiaonan def. Karolina Kowalkiewicz via unanimous decision
Marcos Rogerio def. Lima def. Ben Sosoli via TKO (strikes) — Round 1, 1:28
Brad Riddell def. Magomed Mustafaev via split decision
Zubaira Tukhugov def. Kevin Aguilar via TKO (strikes) — Round 1, 3:21
Jalin Turner def. Joshua Culibao via TKO (strikes) — Round 2, 3:01
Jake Matthews def. Emil Meek via unanimous decision
Song Kenan def. Callan Potter via KO (punches) — Round 1, 2:20
Kai Kara France def. Tyson Nam via unanimous decision
Angela Hill def. Loma Lookboonmee via unanimous decision
Priscila Cachoeira def. Shana Dobson via KO (punch) — Round 1, 0:40