Saturday, May 28, 2022

Yan Xiaonan Reveals What She Learned From Carla Esparza Defeat

Ahead of her next battle against Marina Rodriguez, Yan Xiaonan reflects on her recent defeat against Carla Esparza.

Last May, Xiaonan saw her 11-fight win streak come to an end. The “Cookie Monster” devastated her in the cage with punches that ended the fight in round 2.

Carla Esparza is a fierce opponent in the Octagon. Even the current strawweight champion, Rose Namajunas, was finished by Esparza when they fought back in 2014.

Similar to Namajunas, Xiaonan felt the loss was a lesson and showed where improvements need to be made.

Carla Esparza and Yan Xiaonan
Carla Esparza and Yan Xiaonan, Photo Credit: Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

“The biggest lesson is you have to be ready for a big fight like that. 100% ready. Another lesson is the direction—how you prepare for the fight. So, we had some problems on that in my last fight camp. So, yeah, everything, I learned a little bit of everything in that fight,” Xiaonan told LowKickMMA.

Most fighters will tell you that preparation for a fight is more important than the fight itself. You have to go into the ring mentally and physically fit enough to defeat your opponent.

A bad day can lead to a bad fight just as well as being undertrained. But losing can also be a humbling experience, and many fighters have come back stronger from it.

This Saturday, Xiaonan will face Brazil’s Marina Rodriguez at UFC 272. They hold spots in the top 5 of the strawweight rankings, and after their match, one will be much closer to the title shot.

What are your thoughts on how Yan Xiaonan reflects on her loss to Carla Esparza?

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