“I win this fight and my next step will be to challenge for the championship,” Yan Xiaonan talks about her fight with Carla Esparza

Yan Xiaonan expects to fight for the UFC women's strawweight title with a win against Carla Esparza in her next fight at UFC Vegas 27.

Yan Xiaonan
Yan Xiaonan

The number 3 ranked UFC women’s strawweight fighter Yan Xiaonan is going to face the former UFC women’s strawweight champion Carla Esparza in her next fight on UFC Vegas 27.

Xiaonan is still undefeated in UFC and she is coming in this fight riding a six-fight win streak with her latest win coming against Claudia Gadelha on UFC on ESPN: Santos vs Teixeira.

The winner of this fight can very well be the number one contender for the newly crowned strawweight champion Rose Namajunas. In her latest interview, Yan Xiaonan says with the help of an interpreter,

“Yeah, I think so, a Very huge fight for me and very important. I prepared for this fight for a very long time, and I think the winner of me and Esparza will be able to challenge for the belt. That’s my plan. I win this fight and my next step will be to challenge for the championship.” {H/T MMA Junkie}

Carla Esparza was the first UFC women’s strawweight champion but Yan Xiaonan believes she is just the stepping stone for her success. She added, “I think her role is pretty much like a gatekeeper,”

“She was the first champion of this division and her ranking is always (No.) 5 to 8, so yeah, she’s like a gatekeeper. If we can get through her, we can become a legit championship challenger.” {H/T MMA Junkie}

Yan Xiaonan wants to bring the strawweight title back to China

Yan Xiaonan and Carla Esparza
Yan Xiaonan and Carla Esparza

Carla Esparza holds the record for most takedowns landed in the UFC strawweight history and Yan Xiaonan will look to use her wrestling against her. Xiaonan added, “That’s what we’re guessing her strategy will be,”

“Everybody who fought me wanted to wrestle with me, grapple with me, because they know there’s no chance they’ll beat me through striking. So yeah, we think she’ll implement her wrestling game.”

She continued, “For the result of the fight, 200 percent I will win. Takedown defense is the key for me. But if there’s an opportunity, I want to try and take her down and submit her and give everybody a surprise.” {H/T MMA Junkie}

With Zhang Weili losing her title to Rose Namajunas, a lot of people are rooting for Yan Xiaonan to bring the title back to China and she wants to do the same. Xiaonan added,

“I don’t see it as pressure. I see it as motivation, There are a lot of Chinese MMA fans commenting under my social media saying, ‘Hey, we hope you can beat Rose to bring the belt back to China.’”

“I’m really happy with that because I realized that more and more people don’t only know Zhang Weili, but they also know Yan Xiaonan and they know I can be China’s next champion.” {H/T MMA Junkie}

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