Yan Xiaonan joined elite company after her impressive victory at UFC Vegas 13, Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The Chinese women’s strawweight contender came up big in her sixth appearance inside the UFC Octagon, defeating number 4-ranked contender Claudia Gadelha via unanimous decision.
Xiaonan overcame a pair of early takedowns from Gadelha in the opening round to out-strike and out ultimately outpoint the Brazilian former world title contender and earn a clear-cut decision victory.
With her sixth win under the UFC banner, Yan Xiaonan has tied former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey’s record of six consecutive victories to start her UFC career.
Rousey, the UFC’s first female champion and someone who many consider as the pioneer of women’s MMA on a global level, opened her Octagon career with six straight wins, defeating Liz Carmouche, Miesha Tate, Sara McMann, Cat Zingano, and Bethe Correia in her dominant run as the women’s 135-pound queen. Her streak ended at the hands of Holly Holm at UFC 193.
Xiaonan, meanwhile, has put together an impressive six-fight winning streak of her own to begin her UFC career, defeating Kailin Curran, Viviane Pereira, Syuri Kondo, Angela Hill, former title contender Karolina Kowalkiewicz, and most recently Claudia Gadelha.
With the victory, Yan Xiaonan is likely due for a big step up in competition. As of writing, she is currently the 8th-ranked contender in the women’s strawweight division.
Yan Xiaonan joins Ronda Rousey and Joanna Jedrzejczyk in UFC history books
Yan Xiaonan and Ronda Rousey are just two of the only three women in UFC history to begin their careers on a six-fight winning streak.
The only other woman to do it? Former UFC women's strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk, who actually holds the record for 8 consecutive wins to begin her UFC career.
The polish powerhouse defeated Juliana Lima and Claudia Gadelha in her first two appearances inside the Octagon to earn a shot at the UFC women's strawweight championship, then held by Carla Esparza.
Jedrzejczyk dominated Esparza in their title bout, winning via second-round TKO and marking the start of her dominant run as the women's 125-pound queen.
"JJ" went on to defend the title against Jessica Penne, Valerie Letourneau, Gadelha, Karolina Kowalkiewicz, and Jessica Andrade, before absorbing her first loss in the UFC to would-be champion Rose Namajunas.
With Yan Xiaonan's recent surge, she could very well be setting up a possible matchup with Jedrzejczyk, who's currently the number 2-ranked contender in the women's strawweight division, in the near future.Published 08 Nov 2020, 10:09 IST