Yan Xiaonan is on the verge of a title shot after stopping Jessica Andrade in the opening round at UFC 288. The Chinese strawweight has her sights set on compatriot Weili Zhang who currently holds the title.
Xiaonan’s striking looked crisp right from the get go as she tagged the Brazilian with straight punches and low kicks. Andrade was looking for the finish and charged forwards looking to land haymakers but couldn’t find the target.
Xiaonan had a clear advantage in terms of accuracy as she continued to score with low kicks to the left leg of Andrade. The former strawweight champion kept charging forwards but charged straight into a right hook.
It dropped her hard and Xiaonan immediately attacked with hammerfists. There was no opportunity for Andrade to recover and the referee stepped in to save her at the 2:20 mark.
Xiaonan Yan just put herself into title contention at #UFC288!! pic.twitter.com/V3YvNT2Ufq
— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) May 7, 2023
Heading into the contest Xiaonan was ranked #6 while Andrade was #4. The win puts the Chinese fighter within touching distance of a title shot and she really made her case by beating a former champion so emphatically.
The victory takes Xiaonan’s record to 17-3 and she has won eight out of her ten fights inside the octagon. Afterwards the 33 year old made it clear she wants a shot at the title and is willing to face Weili Zhang.
Andrade drops to 24-11, making an unsuccessful return to the division she once ruled after two fights at flyweight. The Brazilian’s chances of recapturing the title she lost to Weili Zhang are fading fast.
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Best of the rest
In the main event Aljamain Sterling narrowly squeezed past the returning Henry Cejudo. He successfully defended his bantamweight belt and moved up to 23-3 while his opponent failed to recapture the title he held before retiring and drops to 16-3.
UFC 288, New Jersey, May 6th
Aljamain Sterling def. Henry Cejudo via Decision (Split)
Belal Muhammad def. Gilbert Burns via Decision (Unanimous)
Yan Xiaonan def. Jéssica Andrade via TKO (Punches) at 2:20 of R1
Movsar Evloev def. Diego Lopes via Decision (Unanimous)
Charles Jourdain def. Kron Gracie via Decision (Unanimous)
Matt Frevola def. Drew Dober via TKO (Punches) at 4:08 of R1
Kennedy Nzechukwu def. Devin Clark via Technical Submission (Guillotine choke) at 2:28 of R2
Khaos Williams def. Rolando Bedoya via Decision (split)
Virna Jandiroba def. Marina Rodriguez via Decision (Unanimous)
Parker Porter def. Braxton Smith via TKO (Punches) at 2:10 of R1
Ikram Aliskerov def. Phil Hawes via KO (Punches) at 2:10 of R1
Claudio Ribeiro def. Joseph Holmes via TKO (Punches) at 3:21 of R2