Carla Esparza made her case to become Rose Namajunas’ next opponent, extending her win streak to five with a dominant win over rising contender Yan Xiaonan at UFC Vegas 27.
Arguably, the most important fight on the UFC Vegas 27 card was not the main event, but the co-feature, with Carla Esparza facing off with Yan Xiaonan.
On the line? The possibility of a title fight with newly crowned “Thug” Rose Namajunas. While the old “nothing is set in stone” cliche always comes to mind, in reality, no two fighters in the division were better positioned for a title shot than Xiaonan and Esparza.
Carla Esparza met little resistance in the first round against Yan Xiaonan, taking her down twice and pinning her there for the great majority of the first round. Esparza’s pressure was constant and similar to what we saw in her prime back when she was ruling Invicta FC.
It was the same in the second round, with Esparza getting an early takedown and working her way to side control. Xiaonan was active on the bottom, but couldn’t counter Esparza’s top control. Esparza worked her way to the mounted crucifix and it was the beginning of the end. She began raining down elbows and a slew of quick punches, and despite the best efforts of Xiaonan, that was all that was required to stop the fight. Esparza put on a thorough display of dominance to get an important win in the strawweight division, handing Xiaonan her first UFC loss.
Carla Esparza def. Yan Xiaonan by TKO (Ground-and-Pound) in Round 2 (2:58)