Yan Xiaonan targets Rose Namajunas next: ‘She’s probably the best fighter in the division’

Yan Xiaonan is back in the win column after her first main event at UFC Vegas 61 this past weekend (Oct. 1, 2022).

Heading into her encounter with Mackenzie Dern, Yan (16-3, 1 NC) had lost two straight for the first time in her career. In the first of those two losses, Yan succumbed to the dominant wrestling game of current champion, Carla Esparza (watch highlights), leading many to view her as the underdog against the jiu-jitsu wizard, Dern.

Dern definitely found success on the ground in multiple rounds against Yan, but in the end, she was unable to latch on a submission and fell to China’s “Fury” via a hard-fought majority decision (watch highlights).

Yan has already dreamt of one day securing a bout with former champion, Rose Namajunas, and she hopes she set herself up for it with this recent win.

“I will discuss with my coaches and my management team to see who is next,” Yan told The MMA Hour. “But, there is always a name that I want to fight, other than fighting for the belt. The name is Rose Namajunas, because everyone recognizes that she’s probably the best fighter in the division. So yeah, I want her. Of course [she’s who I wish to fight next]. I like this matchup.”

Namajunas last fought in a rematch against the aforementioned Esparza, dropping her title by split decision (watch highlights) at UFC 274 in May 2022. “Thug” has been vocal about feeling she still did enough to earn the victory that night, but will now have to climb her way back up as Esparza gets set to defend her title versus Zhang Weili at UFC 281 on Nov. 12, 2022, in Madison Square Garden.

For complete UFC Vegas 61 results and coverage click here.

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