UFC women’s strawweight contender Yan Xiaonan is hoping to earn a title shot with a win over Carla Esparza next weekend at UFC Vegas 27.
Xiaonan (13-1, 1 NC) has quickly emerged as one of the top strawweights on the UFC roster ever since making her promotional debut in 2017. Since then, she has won all six of her UFC fights, including notable wins over Claudia Gadelha, Karolina Kowalkiewicz, and Angela Hill. Many analysts of the sport believe that Xiaonan has all the makings of a future UFC champion and a win over Esparza at UFC Vegas 27 could very well get here there.
Speaking to Farah Hannoun of MMAjunkie.com, Xiaonan said that she wants to fight Namajunas for the belt next should she emerge victorious over Esparza next weekend.
“Yeah, I think (a title shot is next). 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,” Xiaonan said.
For Xiaonan, getting the opportunity to beat Esparza — the first-ever UFC women’s strawweight champion and one of the division’s top contenders — will be exactly what she needs in order to prove to the world that she is deserving of a title shot against Namajunas, who recently defeated Weili Zhang at UFC 261 to win the title back.
“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,” Xiaonan said.
Do you think Yan Xiaonan deserves the next title shot at 115lbs if she beats Carla Esparza at UFC Vegas 27?
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