Saturday’s UFC Struggle Night time represents a chance for Yan Xiaonan to re-emerge within the girls’s strawweight title image.
Xiaonan fights fifth seed Mackenzie Dern in the principle occasion of Struggle of the Night time, which takes place on the closed UFC Apex. Coming off of two straight losses, Xiaonan (15-3, 1 NC) desperately wants this win to remain in rivalry.
“The UFC confirmed loads of religion in me by placing in the principle occasion,” says Xiaonan, talking by way of an interpreter. “I at all times put loads of strain on myself in each battle, so this can be no totally different.”
Dern (12-2) enters the battle because the heavy favourite. His Brazilian jiu-jitsu is superb. Finally, that’s the key to the sport. If Xiaonan can preserve Dern from having her manner on the mat, then she’s going to be capable to take some injury. But when Dern retains preventing and delivering dangerous kilos, it may finish badly for Xiaonan.
Xiaonan mentioned: “I’ve completed loads of coaching on the bottom, and I’m prepared for the battle to the bottom. My coaching has made me prepared.
Each girls need a shot in opposition to strawweight champion Carla Esparza. For Xiaonan, who’s ranked sixth within the division, a win right here will not get her a title shot – nevertheless it might result in a battle in opposition to former two-time champion Rose Namajunas.
Xiaonan says: “Rose is somebody I at all times wish to battle. “He is the opponent I would like. However I am targeted on this battle. That is the battle I would like. You may see me be extra cautious. I I can be aggressive, however I can even be sensible.”
McKee Makes Case for Trilogy vs. ‘Pitbull’
Saturday’s Bellator 286 is a vital evening for AJ McKee’s future.
McKee makes his gentle heavyweight debut in opposition to Spike Carlyle. That is his first battle since dropping the featherweight title to Patrício “Pitbull” Freire, and he wants a convincing win in opposition to Carlyle to indicate his star energy. The perfect state of affairs for McKee is a shock win in entrance of his dwelling crowd in Lengthy Seashore, California, adopted by a profitable title protection from Freire in the principle occasion in opposition to Ádám Borics. The evening would finish with a Pitbull-McKee face-off, constructing on their trilogy.
As soon as he is completed with the trilogy, McKee could make a everlasting transfer to lightness.
The way forward for the highest featherweight division will change into clearer as 286 concludes, beginning with the Aaron Pico-Jeremy Kennedy battle. If Pico defeats Kennedy, his subsequent aim can be to hunt redemption in opposition to Borics, who defeated him in June 2019 – which was additionally Pico’s final loss.
If all goes nicely, it begins to clear the way in which for Pico’s much-anticipated run as champion. Simply 26 years previous, he is already probably the most spectacular combined martial artists on the Bellator roster—however he wants a belt to cement his place as top-of-the-line within the recreation.
What to Watch: ONE on Prime Video 2
Along with UFC and Bellator, tomorrow evening additionally gives motion from ONE Championship.
ONE on Prime Video 2 options girls’s strawweight champion Xiong Jing Nan defending her belt in opposition to Angela Lee. The 2 cut up their first two losses (Jing Nan by TKO in March 2019, adopted by Lee within the night factors of the protest match with a victory in October), and this could settle the factors of who the perfect in ONE.
This recreation can be distinctive as a result of Lee needs a double commonplace. Already the ONE atomweight champion, he needs to place the strawweight belt round his waist. If she wins, it results in an fascinating debate—the place does she fall in opposition to the ladies’s MMA area?
Lee’s brother Christian can be chasing his double. Already a light-weight champion, he challenges welterweight champion Kiamrian Abbasov in November on Prime Video 4.
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