Yan Xiaonan : ‘Everything Is A Challenge’

The strawweight throne has been nothing short of volatile to defend. While the recently minted Hall of Fame member Jędrzejczyk defended her title five times, no champion has put together back-to-back title defenses since Namajunas unseated her in November 2017. Since then, four women have claimed the title for their own, three becoming two-time champions (Namajunas, Esparza, Zhang).

If any strawweight has the chance to put together a run close to Jędrzejczyk’s, it seems to be Zhang, and oddsmakers currently have “Magnum” as the heavy favorite. History tells us to expect something different than that, but none of that is of any concern to Yan. She is just focused on the task at hand, the golden opportunity in front of her and a life-changing moment in the balance. 

“I’m often on the underdog side,” Yan said. “I think everything is a challenge. I need to be ready.”

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