Yan Xiaonan, the formidable strawweight contender, finds herself in an unexpected situation.
After an impressive first-round TKO victory over former champion Jessica Andrade at UFC 288 in May, Xiaonan had high hopes of securing a title shot shortly. However, with Zhang Weili set to defend her belt against Amanda Lemos at UFC 292, Xiaonan has been left disappointed but determined.
In a recent interview on the UFC Hall of Fame red carpet, Xiaonan expressed her disappointment but also her resolve to wait for her opportunity. She firmly believes that Weili will successfully retain her title against Lemos and plans to use this time to further enhance her skills.
While acknowledging her disappointment, Xiaonan stated:
"I can wait and let's see what happens in the fight in August. On one side, I can wait for the result of Weili's fight. On the other hand, I want to spend more time to improve myself, my skills to be a more well-rounded fighter."
As she patiently waits for her shot at the championship, Xiaonan also expressed her desire for a future clash with former two-time strawweight champion Rose Namajunas. Although Namajunas is currently set to make her flyweight debut against Manon Fiorot in September, Xiaonan believes that Namajunas may eventually return to the strawweight division. She hopes to have the opportunity to face Namajunas in the future, stating:
"She is the one I want to fight the most, so I hope she will return to our division one day in the future."
While disappointed initially, Xiaonan remains focused on honing her skills and eagerly awaits her chance to challenge either Zhang Weili or Rose Namajunas for the strawweight crown. Fight fans can anticipate a determined and motivated Xiaonan, ready to seize her opportunity and prove herself as the rightful contender in the division.