UFC 288 Adds Jessica Andrade vs. Yan Xiaonan at Strawweight

Jessica Andrade, UFC Vegas 69
Jessica Andrade, UFC Vegas 69 weigh-in Credit: Eddie Law/Cageside Press

Brazil’s Jessica Andrade will return to the strawweight division at UFC 288.

After taking her last two bouts at flyweight while still having her sights set on a shot at 115lb gold, Andrade (24-10) has been booked opposite Yan Xiaonan (16-3, 1NC) in a key strawweight fight in May.

News of the booking was first reported by Eurosport’s Marcel Dorff. Andrade subsequently confirmed the match-up on social media. Paradigm Sports, who represent Xiaonan, recently revealed that she had re-signed with the UFC, inking a new multi-fight deal.

Andrade is 1-1 already in 2023, and kicked off the year with a dominant win over Lauren Murphy in a flyweight contest at UFC 283. Last month, she returned to the octagon on short notice, stepping up to replace Taila Santos against Erin Blanchfield. Also a flyweight fight, Andrade found herself submitted by the surging Blanchfield in the second round.

The loss halted a three-fight win streak for Andrade, who reigned as the UFC women’s strawweight champion in 2019 before losing the belt to Weili Zhang.

Zhang’s fellow Chinese strawweight Xiaonan will enter the fight off a win over Mackenzie Dern. That majority decision victory saw Xiaonan return to the win column after dropping back-to-back fights against Marina Rodriguez and Carla Esparza.

UFC 288 is expected to take place at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey on May 6, 2023. The following match-ups have been reported for the card thus far:

Aljamain Sterling (c) vs. Henry Cejudo — for the UFC bantamweight championship
Khaos Williams vs. Rolando Bedoya
Johnny Muñoz Jr. vs. Daniel Santos
Charles Oliveira vs. Beneil Dariush
Bryce Mitchell vs. Jonathan Pearce
Marina Rodriguez vs. Virna Jandiroba
Andre Petroski vs. Armen Petrosyan
Devin Clark vs. Kennedy Nzechukwu
Jessica Andrade vs. Yan Xiaonan