Yan Xiaonan takes on former Jessica Andrade at UFC 288. She is facing a former champion in the co-main event of a pay per view card in what looks set to be the biggest fight of her career.
The 33 year old has relocated permanently to the US and fights out of Team Alpha Male. She has also been training at the UFC Gym in Sacramento and shared several photos of herself there along with a caption which declares that she is,
Looking forward to the big war.
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Back on track
Xiaonan’s last fight was also a big one. She went the distance with Mackenzie Dern in the main event of UFC Vegas 61 and beat the Brazilian submission specialist by majority decision.
With that win the Chinese strawweight got her career back on track after enduring back to back decision defeats. She is currently the #5 ranked fighter in the division.
A win over Andrade would almost certainly elevate Xiaonan into the top five because the Brazilian is currently #4. She lost the title to Weili Zhang at UFC Shenzhen in 2019.
Since then Andrade has moved up to flyweight and challenged unsuccessfully for that title. She has three wins in her last four fights but is coming off a loss to Erin Blanchfield at UFC Vegas 69.
— UFC (@ufc) October 2, 2022
While the belt is currently the property of Weili Zhang it has changed hands frequently in recent years. So even if Xiaonan isn’t willing to fight her compatriot there is still a good chance she will get a chance to challenge for the title eventually.
But she needs to keep winning fights and the 33 year old can take a big step in the right direction with a victory in New Jersey next month. If she can crack the top five then speculation about the possibility of her fighting Weili Zhang is sure to intensify.
It is a conversation Xiaonan definitely wants to have and she has made it clear she wants to be the UFC strawweight champion. Weili Zhang stopped Andrade in under a minute and it is an achievement her compatriot would love to emulate.