The UFC has finalized a big time main event in the strawweight division that will go down in October. It was announced yesterday that top strawweight contenders Mackenzie Dern (12-2) and Yan Xiaonan (14-3) will battle on October 1st.
ESPN’s Brett Okamoto was the first to break the news. Yan will be looking to bounce back after her recent skid. Back in 2017, Yan made her UFC debut and there was a lot of hype surrounding her as another top contender from China.
She started out extremely strong winning her first six UFC fights. Those wins earned her a shot against Carla Esparza. Yan was completely overwhelmed in that matchup and Esparza picked up the second round TKO.
Then, at UFC 272, she took on top contender Marina Rodriguez. The fight was extremely close and came down to a split decision. Many watching the fight thought that Yan won, however, two of the judges gave the fight to Rodriguez. Now, Yan will have to knock off Mackenzie Dern to avoid a third straight loss.
UFC Fight Night Main Event
Like Yan, Mackenzie Dern had a ton of hype surrounding her when she made her UFC debut. Her career was put on hold for a while after she debuted due to the birth of her child. When she returned, she lost a decision to Amanda Ribas.
However, after that Ribas fight, she really took off. Dern won four straight including three first round submission wins. These earned her a shot at Marina Rodriguez in a UFC Fight Night main event.
In that fight, Rodriguez showed off her superior striking and Dern lost a decision. She returned at UFC 273 when she took on Tecia Torres. It was a very competitive fight, but two of the judges gave the fight to Dern.
Dern and Yan both have a lot to prove and this is a very impactful fight at 115 pounds.