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Finally making her return to the UFC cage, Yan Xiaonan is glad to be back in action. Originally scheduled for September, Yan saw the fight with Claudia Gadelha postponed due to an injury on Gadelha’s end. Having dealt with the pandemic in her last bout, moving training camps from China to Thailand then to Las Vegas, running from the pandemic, Xiaonan is ready to get back to work and continue her rise up the women’s strawweight division.
Read up on our last interview with Yan Xiaonan including her experience with the COVID-19 outbreak below!
As for the pandemic, Yan Xiaonan says the pandemic is under control in China now. She says, “The epidemic situation in China is now well controlled, and normal training and work have begun in China.” Regular training was hard in the Karolina Kowalkiewicz fight due to the pandemic and Yan looked fantastic there. Now without a training camp that’s moved twice, she will look even better.
Xiaonan has already had two highly regarded wins in the UFC, both of which came in her last two bouts. While she’s 5-0 in the UFC, her last two wins over Kowalkiewicz and Angela Hill have turned a lot of eyes to the Chinese prospect. With a win, she may not be a prospect any longer, instead being a full blown title contender.
Claudia Gadelha is ranked ninth in the current UFC women’s strawweight rankings. With Xiaonan being ranked 8th, this is a giant opportunity to prove herself as one of the best in the division and will pole-vault her over several contenders. While Yan Xiaonan says there’s pressure, she feels she is up to the task.
“My opponent is ranked very high in this competition. There is still some pressure for me because it is a great opportunity. The greater the pressure, the greater the motivation.”
Paired with Paradigm Sports, Yan Xiaonan is part of one of the best teams in the sport. Being on the roster with such athletes such as Conor McGregor, Cris Cyborg, Muhammad Mokaev, and Ben Provisor, the management company has plenty of experience in all facets of the sport’s business. From managing megastars to young prospects that are just now taking the world by storm, Xiaonan is in a great place. “My relationship with Paradigm Sports is very harmonious! It helped me a lot!” says Xiaonan Yan of their relationship.
Xiaonan Yan and Henry Cejudo
Seen above, Yan Xiaonan had the chance to pick the brain of Triple C himself, Henry Cejudo. While polarizing in his unique way, Xiaonan used the opportunity to actually get to know Cejudo and pick his brain on what he’s best at: wrestling.
“That photo was taken with him during UFC PI training in Las Vegas. After training, I asked him about wrestling movements. He was very friendly and helped me solve the problem. He is a triple crown, but he has no pretensions and is a very good person!”
UFC Vegas takes place on November 7th and Yan Xiaonan promises fireworks for fans. If you were impressed by Xiaonan in her last fight, she says you won’t want to miss this one. “I think this fight is definitely more exciting than the last one because I am ready!”
Be sure to follow Yan Xiaonan on Instagram to follow her rise in the UFC’s women’s strawweight division!