Yan Xiaonan will be back in action at UFC 288. She faces Jéssica Andrade in New Jersey on May 6th and a win could thrust the Chinese fighter into immediate title contention.
Of course the belt is currently the property of Xiaonan’s compatriot Weili Zhang. It isn’t clear whether the UFC would be interested in matching two Chinese fighters together of if they would actually want to fight.
But Xiaonan (16-3-0-1) dreams of winning the title and can move a step closer to that goal with a win against a former strawweight champion. With Andrade ranked at #4 a victory would virtually guarantee a spot in the top five.
To the main event rounds we go! 🍿 #UFCVegas61 pic.twitter.com/a8eYBt42xy
— UFC (@ufc) October 2, 2022
Andrade (24-10) briefly moved up to 125lbs after losing her title to Weili Zhang. She even challenged for the UFC flyweight title but was beaten by Valentina Shevchenko.
But she is back at strawweight and comes into this contest with three wins in her last four fights. She is currently ranked #4 at both strawweight and flyweight and is #7 on the UFC’s pound for pound female rankings.
It took less than a minute for Zhang Weili to make history and become China's first UFC champion #UFCShenzhen pic.twitter.com/q9d8wZ2z8z
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) August 31, 2019
Best of the rest
In the main event Aljamain Sterling (22-3) defends his bantamweight title against Henry Cejudo (16-2). The latter has not fought since 2020 but held the flyweight and bantamweight titles at the time.
Cejudo announced he would no longer be competing because he was unhappy about the level of remuneration he was receiving from the UFC. In the past three years he has become a highly respected coach but the 36 year old will be making his comeback at UFC 288.
UFC 288, New Jersey, May 6th
Aljamain Sterling (c) vs. Henry Cejudo (For bantamweight belt)
Khaos Williams vs. Rolando Bedoya Welterweight bout:
Johnny Muñoz Jr. vs. Daniel Santos Bantamweight bout:
Charles Oliveira vs. Beneil Dariush Lightweight bout:
Bryce Mitchell vs. Jonathan Pearce Featherweight) bout:
Marina Rodriguez vs. Virna Jandiroba (Strawweight)
Andre Petroski vs. Armen Petrosyan (Middleweight)
Devin Clark vs. Kennedy Nzechukwu (Light Heavyweight)
Jéssica Andrade vs. Yan Xiaonan (Strawweight)