The UFC 272 pay-per-view has to be one of the most exciting fight card this year. Colby Covington and Jorge Masvidal would be the leading the main card. In the preliminary card, Marina Rodriguez will be squaring off against Yan Xiaonan in a Strawweight match-up.
Marina Rodriguez is coming off a big win in her second UFC main event spot. The Brazilian beat Mackenzie Dern with an unanimous decision to extend her winning streak to three. Rodriguez’s only career loss came against former UFC champion Carla Esparza in July 2020.
China’s Yan Xiaonan is coming off her first defeat in the UFC. She was stopped via TKO by Esparza in May. Prior to that, she was on a 12-fight unbeaten run that included six UFC wins over notable names like former title challengers Claudia Gadelha and Karolina Kowalkiewicz.
Marina Rodriguez vs Yan Xiaonan Stats
Height/Reach: 5 ft 6 inches/ 65 inches
Height/Reach: 5 ft 5 inches/ 63 inches
Marina Rodriguez vs Yan Xiaonan Fight Breakdown and Prediction
Rodriguez, with her background in Muay Thai, much prefers to do her work on the feet. She is long and rangy for the division and utilizes that reach and ability to maintain her most effective range in order to both attack and defend herself. On the mat is where Rodriguez has the most improvements needed. Her guard is not overly sophisticated but her constant movement makes it difficult to land anything on her cleanly.
Yan Xiaonan is also primarily a striker, although not so akin to traditional Muay Thai. Xiaonan is almost always light on her feet, slightly bouncing and threatening a burst forward. Xiaonan also holds the speed advantage, on top of always being light on her feet and thus more fluid, she also has extremely quick hand speed.
Nevertheless, as dangerous as Yan is, there just seems to be so much more to Rodriguez’s game. More power, more variety at range, more skills in the clinch. Yan’s speed and resilience do pose a threat, but Rodriguez is pretty quick herself and can match her output. In short, she out-skills Yan for a competitive but decisive victory.