Yan Xiaonan calls for matchup with former champion Rose Namajunas next: “She’s probably the best fighter in the division”

By Josh Evanoff - October 3, 2022

UFC women’s strawweight contender Yan Xiaonan has a name in mind for her return.

The Chinese fighter is fresh off her first headlining role at UFC Vegas 61 opposite Mackenzie Dern. Heading into the matchup, Xiaonan was hoping to snap a two-fight losing streak. Prior to the bout with the Brazilian, she had been defeated by Carla Esparza and Marina Rodriguez.

In the first main event of the strawweight’s career, she earned a hard-fought split decision. With that, Xiaonan earned one of the biggest victories of her career and remained in title contention. It appears that she’s already itching to get back into the octagon.

On The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, Yan Xiaonan discussed her victory over Mackenzie Dern. There, the Chinese contender revealed that she had a name in mind for her next fight. That name is former strawweight champion, Rose Namajunas.

‘Thug Rose’ has been out of action since losing her title to Carla Esparza at UFC 274 in May. Despite the split-decision defeat, Xiaonan still believes that Namajunas is the best fighter in the division. For that reason, the Bejing native is hoping for that matchup next.

Rose Namajunas

Image Credit: @UFC/Twitter

“I will discuss with my coaches and my management team to see who is next,” Xiaonan stated on The MMA Hour on Monday. “But, there is always a name that I want to fight, other than fighting for the belt. The name is Rose Namajunas, because everyone recognizes that she’s probably the best fighter in the division. So yeah, I want her.Of course [she’s who I wish to fight next]. I like this matchup.”

To go along with the callout, Yan Xiaonan gave a prediction for next month’s title bout between Carla Esparza and Weili Zhang. She made it clear that she was riding with ‘Magnum’ to reclaim the title.

“I think Weili can win that fight versus Carla Esparza, because Weili is strong. She’s stronger than Carla, so it’s going to be very hard for Carla to try and take Weili down.”

What do you think about Yan Xiaonan’s comments? Sound off in the comment section below!

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM


Rose Namajunas UFC Yan Xiaonan