UFC Fight Night: Dern vs. Yan took place Oct. 1 at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada. Strawweight contenders Mackenzie Dern (12-3) and Yan Xiaonan (16-3, 1 NC) faced off in a pivotal matchup in the night’s main event. The fight aired live on ESPN+.
Catch the video highlights below.
Round 1: Both women come out swinging big shots, Dern lands first. Kick to the body from Dern, partially caught by Yan, but Dern gets out of trouble — that is until she eats a combination. Dern comes up way short on a high kick, and Yan drills a right hand to the right eye of Dern, which is starting to show the damage. Left hand from Yan, but Dern is able to avoid the follow-up shots.
Hard leg kick from Yan, push kick behind it to the same spot. Dern shoots in and they clinch against the fence at the halfway point of the round. Dern holding on to a single leg and Yan is desperately trying to defend. Yan is able to separate and that’s massive. Body kick from Dern caught by Yan, who returns fire. Dern shoots again, tries to pull guard, but Yan avoids the danger. Final 45 seconds of the round and they trade shots before Dern grabs a hold of Yan again, gets a hip throw, but Yan ends up on top.
Dern working a single again and the horn sounds. Excellent start for the underdog Yan.
MMAFighting scores the round 10-9 Yan
Round 2: Yan comes out with big shots early and Dern is being out struck in a big way. Dern shoots a not-so-great takedown attempt, Yan is now on top with an arm trapped, landing some thunderous left hands.
Dern is looking for a leg lock, but may use it as a transition to take the back of Yan. Dern executing an omoplata and Yan is in a little bit of trouble here with over two minutes to work. Dern looking for an arm triangle, but now transitioning to an arm, now to full mount landing shots.
Dern now has the back and she’s dropping big punches on Yan with just under a minute left. Yan defending, and Dern looks for an armbar, then transitions to a triangle attempt, then around to the back again. Final 10 seconds and Yan survives. What a momentum swing.
MMAFighting scores the round 10-9 for Dern, 19-19 overall
Round 3: Leg kick from Yan immediately, another one as Dern tries to move forward. The leg kicks continue to add up, but Dern returns. Clinch knee from Yan lands flush, but Dern drops to her back to pull guard.
Yan able to get back to her feet and Dern lands a jab to the body. Right hand from Dern grazes Yan, who then counters, but Dern lands a thudding body kick. Yan’s movement has been really impressive in this one, but she’s backing towards the fence which could be dangerous. However, Yan continues to land the big strikes, landing one that has Dern wobbled.
Final two minutes of the round, Dern seems to have recovered, but eats a hard leg kick. Another Yan kick, but this one is caught by Dern who looks to turn it into a takedown. Yan defends and back to the striking exchanges they go — where Yan is clearly winning in pretty much every facet. Under 40 seconds and Yan lands a clean right hand and a counter leg kick, Dern returns with one of her own, but Yan keeps crushing the lead leg.
Dern lands a takedown with about five seconds to go, lands a few short punches, and the horn sounds. Yan takes the lead.
MMAFighting scores the round 10-9 for Yan, 29-28 Yan overall
Round 4: We’ve arrived at the championship rounds, ladies and gentlemen, and Yan lands about eight clean shots all over Dern right away. Dern shoots a single and pushes Yan against the fence. Again, Yan uses exceptional balance and defends it. Big right hand from Yan as she is piecing Dern up. Dern gets in close and lands a short uppercut, Yan comes up short on a nasty elbow, and Dern looks for another throw. This time, Yan is able to avoid the mat.
Good combination from Dern, Yan answers with a flurry of her own. The chins on both women are being tested for sure. Two minutes left in the fourth and Yan goes back to work on the very red leg of Dern, before drilling Dern with a push kick to the body, and a side kick as well. Dern locks Yan up and Yan ends up on top.
Dern now in full guard with a minute to go and she needs to make something happen. Yan keeping in tight to avoid anything dangerous, but Dern looking to trap an arm, but doesn’t look like she’ll have enough time. Horn sounds, Dern needs a finish in the fifth or she loses.
MMAFighting scores is 10-9, and the fight overall 39-37 for Yan
Round 5: Dern comes out swinging for the fences, and gets in tight to clinch Yan against the fence. Dern gets her down and in side control with over four minutes to go. Things are getting interesting.
Full mount for Dern and she’s looking for an armbar. Punches from Dern to try and open things up, now taking the back with both hooks securely in landing big shots over and over again. Yan trying to escape this awful position, and she clears a hook, but just for a second. 2:10 left in the round.
Dern trying to find some sort of opening for a massive comeback win as she’s battering Yan, who is defending all submission attempts. Final minute.
Dern is so close to an armbar and she’s got it. Yan escapes with 10 seconds to go. WOW! Might have ourselves a draw.
MMAFighting scores the round 10-8 for Dern, 47-47 draw overall
Yan Xiaonan def. Mackenzie Dern via majority decision (48-47, 48-47, 47-47)