Yan Xiaonan stayed undefeated in the Octagon at UFC Vegas 13 with a commanding win over longtime top contender Claudia Gadelha.
Opening up the main card of UFC Vegas 13 on Saturday were a pair of strawweights looking to work their way to title contention. Claudia Gadelha had been there before, of course. But with two straight wins under her belt, a big performance might land her back in the conversation.
Her opponent, Yan Xiaonan, would have even more of a claim with a statement victory. The Chinese fighter had won five straight inside the Octagon. What she lacked, aside from simply a finish, was a defining win that would establish her as a real threat to champion Zhang Weili.
The first round kicked off as many expected. Xiaonan landing the bulk of the strikes with Gadelha looking for bigger strikes and a takedown. About a minute in, Gadelha scores that takedown, but does little with it before Xiaonan got back to her feet. The next few minutes would take place against the cage as Gadelha pressed against Xiaonan. Xiaonan landed more knees in that clinch, and the exchange would end with a referee separation. Gadelha landed another takedown with little time left, but again the only strikes landing were from Xiaonan off her back.
At the beginning of the second round, it was all Xioanan with the combinations. All the grappling appeared to have taken a toll on Gadelha, whereas Xiaonan was looking as fresh as when she started the fight. The jab of Xiaonan was not only landing, but making it seemingly impossible for Gadelha to get close enough to return to the grappling. The volume of Xiaonan was on full display. Gadelha finally got a clinch with just seconds left, but there was no time to do anything with it.
After a couple of jabs from Xiaonan again, the Brazilian was able to close the distance early with a body lock against the cage. This time Xiaonan was able to pummel in and get separation. Xiaonan then went back to what was working with her jab and range highly effective. At roughly the halfway point, Gadelha clinched up again, but after eating some knees, she had the position switched on her. They tussled against the cage for a bit, but the stalemate ends with just under a minute when Jason Herzog recognized nothing was getting done in there. The round ended with Xiaonan’s activity high as she landed a number of combinations to Gadelha.
Yan Xiaonan def. Claudia Gadelha by Unanimous Decision (29-28 x3)