Marina Rodriguez edges Yan Xiaonan at UFC 272 in technical showcase

Tonight on the prelims at UFC 272, we saw a potential title eliminator in the strawweight division. Top contenders battled it out as Marina Rodriguez (15-1-2) was taking on China’s Yan Xiaonan (13-2).

It’s honestly puzzling to me that this fight with so much on the line is on the prelims. Nevertheless, fans watching the UFC 272 prelims got a treat with this high level matchup tonight.

Marina Rodriguez was going for her fourth straight win at UFC 272. After losing her first career fight by split decision to Carla Esparza back in 2020, she’s gone on a run with wins over Amanda Ribas, Michelle Waterson, and Mackenzie Dern.

Yan was looking to bounce back after suffering her first loss in the UFC. After starting out 6-0 which included wins over title challengers Claudia Gadelha and Karolina Kowalkiewicz, Yan lost to Carla Esparza. At UFC 272, she was hoping to get right back in title contention with a win over Marina Rodriguez.

UFC 272 Recap

Round 1

The UFC 272 strawweight contest kicked off without a touch of the gloves. Yan comes forward and throws a body kick. Big leg kick from Rodriguez and Yan looks to counter with big shots up top. Lots of early pressure from Yan. Big counter right straight from Yan.

Rodriguez catches Yan coming in with a nice right hand of her own. Big combination from Yan and then she catches Rodriguez with a big right hand as Rodriguez comes forward. Rodriguez looks a little shaken after this start from Yan. Another beautiful combination from Yan as she presses Rodriguez against the fence.

Nice low kick from Rodriguez lands but Yan counters with a big one of her own. Rodriguez whiffs on a big shot and eats another combination from Yan. Low kick lands from Yan. Both ladies step forward and land big shots in tight. Rodriguez steps forward and lands a nice jab.

Yan catches Rodriguez coming in and lands a big uppercut in the clinch. Powerful leg kick lands from Rodriguez but Yan evades the attack up top. Low kick from Yan and she circles on the outside. Rodriguez steps in and lands a couple of really big shots. Best moment of the fight for her.

A low shot lands and there’s a break in the action. 90 seconds later, they are back at it. Big side kick up top lands for Yan and then she lands a beautiful left hand. Rodriguez goes for a flying knee but Yan gets a takedown at the end of the round. Big first round at UFC 272 for Yan Xiaonan.

Round 2

Entering the second at UFC 272 and Rodriguez needs to be the aggressor in this round. She immediately takes the center but it’s Yan who lands the first shot with a body kick. Rodriguez whiffs on a big shot and Yan grabs a clinch. The two break immediately and Yan lands a low kick.

Both step forward and land shots but Yan got the better of the exchange. Low kick from Yan and then she steps in with a beautiful combination. Rodriguez comes forward with big hooks, but Yan evades and lands a nice counter shot. Rodriguez is definitely pushing forward more, but Yan is looking sensational.

Jab lands from Yan and she circles on the outside. Rodriguez tries to fire away but Yan is out of range and makes Rodriguez pay with a big right hand counter. Rodriguez again misses and eats a counter for her trouble. A knee attempt from Rodriguez is caught and Yan lands a takedown.

Yan briefly gets the back of Rodriguez, but¬†Rodriguez gets back to her feet. Rodriguez defends the takedown attempts from Yan nicely, but she can’t break the body lock. Heavy cage pressure here from Yan. Both land nice knees and they break. Lead left hook lands for Yan and then Rodriguez lands a knee to the body.

Rodriguez gets her own body lock and pushes Yan against the fence. Rodriguez goes for another knee, but Yan uses the opportunity to break. Big combination lands for Rodriguez just as the final bell sounds. That round could go either way at UFC 272.

Round 3

Entering the final round at UFC 272 and Marina Rodriguez is going to either need a huge round or a finish here. Rodriguez immediately takes the center to start the final frame. Nice right hand from Rodriguez and Yan lands a beautiful side kick counter.

Lead left hook lands for Yan. Rodriguez landing cleaner here in the opening 90 seconds of the final round. Nice low kick lands for Yan then she spins Rodriguez around with a big combination. Another big low kick lands for Yan and that forces Rodriguez to move forward.

Big counter from Yan lands and that slows Rodriguez. Combination lands for Rodriguez and Yan circles. Another big low kick lands for Yan who is adding up those numbers. Big jabs land for both ladies. Big combination attempt from Rodriguez brings on a clinch.

Nice elbow in tight lands for Rodriguez. Side kick from Yan and then both ladies exchange big left hooks. Rodriguez moves forward and both land big shots. Body kick lands for Rodriguez and she is relentless here in the final frame. Huge left from Rodriguez and she points at Yan.

Yan answers back with a big shot and then she mocks Rodriguez. Big jabs land for Rodriguez. Rodriguez gets in tight and lands a few big elbows. Spinning attacks from Yan land and this one is over. Close final two frames at UFC 272, but I lean towards Yan Xiaonan.

Marina Rodriguez def. Yan Xiaonan by split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)

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