Former URCC veteran Yan Xiaoyan takes the spotlight in UFC Fight Night

Rick Olivares - Philstar.com
Former URCC veteran Yan Xiaoyan takes the spotlight in UFC Fight Night
Yan Xiaoyan

MANILA, Philippines – On media day for the Ultimate Fighting Championship Thursday, Chinese mixed martial arts fighter Yan Xiaoyan prefaced her interview with Philstar.com with a smile and a fond memory.

“I have been to the Philippines,” said the 33-year-old Chinese fighter. “I remember fighting in the URCC. I felt good.”

Seven years ago, Yan took on Dolores Meek in URCC 26, which was held in Pampanga. Xiaoyan knocked out her opponent with over a minute to spare in the first round. That was her third ever fight outside China with the previous two in Singaporean promotion, Martial Combat.

Thirteen fights and seven years later, Yan is headlining her first ever UFC event.

Yan (15-3-0) will face Mackenzie Dern (12-2-0) in the main event of UFC Fight Night on Sunday, October 2 ( 7 a.m. Manila time, and it will be shown live on the Premier Sports Channel on Skycable and Cignal as well as on the TapGo streaming application).

Yan, currently ranked sixth in UFC’s strawweight rankings, is hoping to get back on the winning track after succumbing to two consecutive losses — a decision to Marina Rodriguez and a knockout from Carla Esparza — after six consecutive wins, to begin her career in the world’s top combat sports organization.

Dern, in the Chinese fighter’s mind, is “a good jiu jitsu fighter.” Hence, she ramped up on her grappling and wrestling in this training camp.”

Regarding her recent slump, Yan shrugged it off.  

“It is because of the level of competition,” she underscored. “If you look at the resume of each UFC fighter, it is very good. In the UFC, you compete against the best fighters in the world so it is harder.”

Dern herself also lost to Rodriguez although in her previous outing, she got back on the winning track albeit with a split decision win over Tecia Torres in UFC 273.

“The main event matters to me,” summed up Yan. “My dream is to win the UFC title belt and I am working for it. But I do not have time to think about what is next as I am fully focused on this fight against Dern.”



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