The UFC has finalized a big time matchup in the strawweight division which very well might be a title eliminator. MMA Junkie was the first to report this afternoon that Marina Rodriguez (15-1-2) will be taking on Yan Xiaonan (13-2).
The matchup will take place at UFC 272 which goes down on March 5th. For Xiaonan, she will be looking to bounce back after her first loss in the UFC. That loss came back in May against Carla Esparza.
We know that Esparza is getting the next shot at the title, but whoever wins this matchup will likely be next. Prior to the loss to Esparza, Xiaonan was perfect in the UFC.
She made her debut with the promotion back in 2017 and started a perfect 6-0. Some standout victories in that start were wins over Angela Hill and former title challengers Karolina Kowalkiewicz and Claudia Gadelha.
Xianoan looked to be on a destined path to a UFC title shot. However, Esparza stopped her in a big way. Now, she has a big test in front of her in Marina Rodriguez.
UFC title eliminator
When it comes to the female fighters of the year in 2021, it’s hard to pick against Marina Rodriguez. After suffering her first professional loss back in July of 2020, Rodriguez made a massive statement in 2021.
For Rodriguez it all started back in January at UFC 257. That night, she was taking on Amanda Ribas who was riding a big hype train. Rodriguez put a stop to that hype train by finishing Ribas in the second round.
The Brazilian followed that win up with back-to-back main event victories. First, she defeated the tough veteran Michelle Waterson. After that, she took on Mackenzie Dern who was also riding a big hype train.
Rodriguez was being looked at as a dark horse for the next UFC title shot. However, the UFC gave Esparza the shot which was the correct call since Rodriguez’s lone loss came to Esparza.
This is a huge strawweight contest that should setup a summer clash for the winner and whoever is the champion.