UFC 300 Co-Main Preview and Prediction: Zhang Weili – Yan Xiaonan

Jun 12, 2022; Singapore, SIN; Zhang Weili (red gloves) reacts after the fight against Joanna Jedrzejczyk (blue gloves) during UFC 275 at Singapore Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Paul Miller-USA TODAY Sports

In the co-main event of the historic UFC 300 event this weekend, we will see a historic title fight in the women’s strawweight division. For the first time, two Chinese-Born fighters will compete against each other for a world title as Zhang Weili (24-3) defends her title against Yan Xiaonan (17-3).

Starting with the challenger, Yan earned this title fight after winning back-to-back fights in her last two. Impressively, last May, she knocked out former champion Jessica Andrade in the first round. Overall, Yan is 8-2 inside the octagon with wins over Andrade, Mackenzie Dern, and former title challengers Claudia Gadelha and Karolina Kowalkiewicz.

However, she’s never faced anyone like Zhang Weili. With Valentina Shevchenko losing her flyweight title to Alexa Grasso, I believe that Zhang Weili is the best female fighter in the world right now. Yes, Grasso holds the top spot in the UFC’s P4P rankings, but if I had a vote, it would go to Weili.

Like Yan, Weili is also 8-2 inside the octagon with the two losses coming to Rose Namajunas. Outside of those two fights, she’s been incredibly dominant. She had a historically lopsided win over Amanda Lemos in her last title defense and she became a two-time champion by brutalizing and submitting Carla Esparza who owns a win over Yan Xiaonan.

UFC 300 Prediction

UFC 300 is an insane card with a ton of close matchups. I do not envy the folks who are trying to make money by betting on fights on this card. That said, if you’re going to bet on fights this weekend and you want a safe fight to add to your parlay, look no further than this strawweight title fight.

Yan Xiaonan is a very good fighter. She has good striking with very good speed. She throws a lot of volume and I think she’s one of the very best strawweights in the world. However, there are levels to this and I don’t think she’s anywhere near the level of Zhang Weili.

Anywhere the fight goes on Saturday night, I would favor Weili. She’s a more dynamic and powerful striker. She’s much stronger physically and whenever they get into grappling exchanges, I think Weili is going to be very dominant. Ultimately, I think the ground is where this one ends. After a dominant first two rounds, I think Weili gets a TKO win in the third to retain her UFC strawweight title.

Prediction: Zhang Weili by TKO – Round 3

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