Yan Xiaonan believes she is not getting the kind of support one would expect from her home country.
UFC strawweight Yan Xiaonan will be stepping into her main event slot in a matter of hours. The Chinese fighter with eight UFC fights under her belt will be taking on the grappling sensation, Mackenzie Dern, as the headliner of tonight’s UFC Vegas 61 event. This might be the biggest fight in Yan’s career, but she is not feeling the support from her home county in the leadup.
Yan is coming off two losses in a row. She feels that because of this, her home fans are not confident in her skills and have her as the underdog in the fight. She spoke about this in an interview with The AllStar.
“I think I am the underdog in Chinese fan’s eyes,” she said through a translator. “Because they maybe think Mackenzie is a good grappler and she is a good opponent and a good fighter as well. So yeah, there is not a lot of people that think I can win this bout.”
Yan Thinks Her Past Losses Have Tarnished Her Reputation For Chinese Fans
Yan came into the UFC having won her first six fights. She defeated some tough opponents such as Karolina Kowalkiewicz, Angela Hill, and Cláudia Gadelha. Now she has lost two in a row, but both were to top-ranked opponents. She lost to the champion Carla Esparza and number three ranked Marina Rodriguez.
Yan herself is currently ranked sixth despite the two losses and will be taking on the number five ranked Dern. Dern is coming off of a win, but Yan doesn’t think it is praise for Dern that has the fans against her.
“Not because of her (Dern), probably they just dislike me,” she said. “They don’t think I perform very well in my last fight so that is why they think Mackenzie can win this fight”
This bout can be a jumping point for both ladies. A win can send them right into the title hunt or set them up for a title contender shot next.
Do you consider Yan Xiaonan as an underdog against Mackenzie Dern ahead of tonight’s UFC Vegas 61 clash?