UFC 300 Co-Main Event Recap: Zhang Weili defeats Yan Xiaonan to retain strawweight title

MMA: UFC 300-Weigh Ins
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

In the co-main event of UFC 300, we saw a historic strawweight title fight. For the first time in the history of the promotion, two Chinese-Born fighters were competing for a world champion. Champion Zhang Weili (24-3) was looking to defend against Yan Xiaonan (17-3).

Yan started out very strong when she made the jump to the octagon winning her first six fights in the UFC. However, after back-to-back tough losses, many wondered if she’d ever get a chance to challenge for a title. Well, she put together two more good wins including a first round knockout over former champ Jessica Andrade and that earned her this title shot.

However, she had a steep mountain to climb. Zhang Weili is 8-2 in her UFC career only losing to Rose Namajunas. She’s looked incredibly dominant in her last two fights to regain the strawweight title against Carla Esparza and retain it against Amanda Lemos. Tonight, she was looking to show that there are levels to the game.

UFC 300 Recap

Round 1

The UFC 300 co-main event kicks off with a touch of the gloves. Yan takes the center and Weili throws a leg kick to start her striking. Big right hand over the top lands for Yan and Weili nearly takes her off her feet with a calf kick. Body kick from Weili and a body lock from Yan. They break free and they are back to distance.

Calf kick from Weili and Yan comes back with a few huge shots but nothing lands. Body kick from Weili and another one. Trip from Yan and she gets right into half guard. Yan pops right back up and lets Weili get back to her feet. Yan lands a big left hook on Weili. Big first round thus far for the challenger with two minutes left.

Body kick from Weili. Body kick and a spinning back kick lands for Weili. Big step in elbow lands for Weili and then she gets a throw. Immediate side control from Weili with a minute left to work. Yan is trying to scramble but Weili is doing a good job of controlling her here. Weili gets a rear naked choke and it’s deep. Yan goes out by the round ends. The fight continues but Weili wins the first at UFC 300.

Round 2

They touch gloves to start the second round and Yan throws a combination to start things. Body lock from Weili and she gets the back of Yan. Yan is trying with everything to force a scramble but Weili ends up on top here. 90 seconds into the round and Yan is still trying to find a way back up to her feet.

Side control now from Weili. Yan is doing a good job of continuously forcing scrambles but Weili is doing a great job of rolling with each scramble and getting on top. Elbows now from Weili and she gets the back of Yan. Yan is flattened out here and Weili is starting to rain down punches.

Yan is somehow able to survive once again but Weili gets an arm triangle. It’s deep by Yan is able to break free. Another scramble and they are back on the feet. 1-2 from Yan and the round comes to a close. 2-0 Weili at UFC 300.

Round 3

The third starts at UFC 300 and Weili might be a little fatigued here. Weili takes the center to start the third and she eats a side kick from Yan. Huge 1-2 from Yan and that might’ve hurt Weili. Weili looks exhausted here and Yan drops her with a right hand. 90 seconds left in the round and Yan is really turning the tables in the third round.

Weili gets back to her feet but she looks bad here in the third round. Body kick lands for Weili and Yan looks composed here. Both land big right hands and Weili forces a clinch. Weili pushes Yan against the fence and she goes for a throw but Yan ends up on top. 90 seconds left and Yan is all over Weili here.

Full guard for Weili now. Yan landing strong elbows and Weili forces a scramble to get back to her feet. Sweep from Yan and she gets on top of Weili. Another scramble by Weili and they are back to striking. Side kick from Yan who looks sensational right now. The round ends and it’s a clear round for the challenger at UFC 300.

Round 4

Entering the fourth round and all the momentum is with Yan Xiaonan. Here we go with the championship rounds. Body kick from Weili starts her striking and a 1-2 lands for Yan. Clean 1-2 from Yan lands again. Low kick from Weili and Yan drops her with a right hand. All the momentum is with the challenger now.

Weili gets back to her feet but she’s in deep trouble in this fight. Takedown from Weili but Yan is immediately working her way back to her feet. Weili gets to the back of Yan with three minutes to work. Solid shots from the back from Weili and she’s starting to control Yan here.

Halfway through the round and Yan needs to figure out a way to get back to her feet here. Weili is just softening her up with shots here. Weili is doing a great job of controlling the challenger here. Two minutes left in the round and Yan is looking for a way back up but Weili drags her back down.

Wrist control and nearly a mount here from Weili. Big shots from the back from Weili. 90 seconds left and Weili gets the back of Yan. She flattens her out here and she starts raining down punches. Big shots from Weili. The round comes to a close and it’s a dominant fourth round from the champion after a very rough start.

Round 5

Entering the final round at UFC 300 and it’s clear that Yan is going to need a finish here. Here we go in the final round. High kick lands for Weili and she looks for it again. Big takedown from Weil but Yan is trying to escape out the back. Yan is trying to scramble and she gets back up.

Four minutes left in the co-main event. Side kick lands for Yan. Weili plotting forward here and she lands a head kick. Big double leg from Weili and she immediately gets side control. Now she has the mount and Yan rolls to give up her back. Yan tries to explode out of the position but Weili rolls with it.

Weili doing a good job of controlling Yan here. Two minutes left in this fight and it’s going to take a miracle from Yan here to take away the title. Yan gives up her back again with 90 seconds left in the round. Yan continues to try and forces scrambles but Weili is just holding control here.

Less than a minute left in the round and Weili lands some short elbows. Nice shots here from Weili. The fight comes to an end and Zhang Weili is going to retain her UFC strawweight title.

Zhang Weili def. Yan Xiaonan via unanimous decision (49-45, 49-45, 49-45)

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