Yan Xiaonan did exactly what she needed to do to avoid a Mackenzie Dern submission and capture a main event decision win earlier tonight (Sat., Oct. 1, 2022) at UFC Vegas 61 live on ESPN+ from inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Yan and Dern both connected with right hand straight out of the gate, but it was Yan who kept the damage up with forward pressure and a variety of attacks. Dern was willing to exchange despite her punches being a little flat and forced. She did have a chance to earn a takedown along the cage, but Dern couldn’t drag Yan to the ground. Dern tried another takedown and eventually looked for an ankle lock, but Yan again defended with ease.
In Round 2, Dern was able to scramble on the ground and get full guard. Yan did well to keep her legs and arms out of trouble, but Dern finally had the fight where she wanted it. After nearly locking up an omoplata attempt Dern was able to transition to an arm triangle choke. Yan was able to defend and escaped a potential finish, but Dern gained full mount and rained down heavy ground-and-pound to play out the clock.
Dern plodded forward in the third and tried to back Yan against the cage. Yan did well to move her feet to avoid any clinches over the first 60 seconds until Dern pulled guard again. The action returned to the feet where Dern launched a nasty kick to the body. She changed level again, but Yan once again defended the takedown. Yan would connect on a violent front kick that wobbled Dern, who would recover in mere seconds. Still, Yan seemed to regain momentum and jumped ahead on the scorecards.
The fourth round saw Dern spring out of the gate and try to land her offense. Unfortunately, Yan was too sharp and was able to avoid most strikes. Dern tried to changed levels with another takedown attempt along the cage, but it didn’t work. Yan was able to reverse positioning along the cage and ended up gaining top control. Dern tried to threaten with submissions off her back, but seemed out of gas as Yan cruised into the fifth and final round with a commanding lead.
Dern knew she needed a finish in the fifth round so she came out firing heavy leather. Yan did well to defend and avoided anything of significance, but Dern eventually worked the fight to the ground and gained back control. She peppered Yan with short punches while waiting for her chance to lock in a submission, but Yan defended to perfection. Yan really prepared well for Dern’s world-class grappling and it showed from start to finish of this fight, allowing her to gain the main event decision win.
Result: Yan Xiaonan def. Mackenzie Dern via Majority Decision
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