Headlining our event tonight was a women’s strawweight affair between no. 5 ranked multi-time BJJ world champion Mackenzie Dern (12-2, 7-2 UFC) and no. 6 ranked Chinese standout Yan Xiaonan (15-3, 6-2 UFC).
Continue reading to see how this strawweight main event went down:
Official Result: Yan Xiaonan def Mackenzie Dern via majority decision (48-47, 48-47, 47-47)
Xiaonan looks comfortable on the feet early on, as she’s letting her hands go whilst defending Dern’s takedown attempts.
Dern has a much better second-round however. She ends up on Xiaonan’s back early, but after a very untraditional scramble, Dern locks in an omoplata. Dern appears to be close to finishing the fight with it, but transitions beautifully from the omoplata to an arm-triangle choke.
Xiaonan’s defense holds up well though. Nonetheless, she spends the remainder of the round getting absolutely mauled; Dern gets some serious ground-and-pound going, and she also searches for an armbar, as well as a couple rear naked chokes.
It’s very surprising Xiaonan made it past that second round, much like Tecia Torres’ second round with Dern in Dern’s last fight.
Xiaonan comes back to life in the middle stretch, as she keeps the fight on the feet and continues to tag Dern up. Dern does however secure a beautiful throw takedown in the final seconds, but that was definitely something she needed earlier on in the round.
The fourth is very similar.
Dern is out-struck throughout the first three-plus minutes and ends up on her back via another failed takedown attempt. She did wrap up an armbar at the very end, but it was too late to see if she could extend it and secure a finish as there were literally two seconds left in the round.
Dern secures a desperate throw takedown to start the fifth and she has another very dominant round with about four minutes of back control. She held the position whilst reigning down a lot of punches, was constantly looking for the rear naked choke, and went for a kimura, which she transitioned to an armbar at the very end.
Dern lost three rounds of this fight, but it’s arguable she should have at the least achieved a draw tonight, maybe even a win. It’s kind of crazy only one judge gave her a 10-8 in that second round.
Though she did lose three of the five rounds, she ended the third and fourth very well, and couldn’t have been more dominant in the second and fifth. It was a good showing for her tonight.
It was also a good showing for Yan Xiaonan, who snaps her two-fight skid tonight at UFC Vegas 61.
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