UFC Fight Night 122 Newcomer Breakdown: Xiaonan Yan

Prior to each UFC card, Jay Primetown takes a close look at debuting fighters. In the latest installment, we look at Chinese strawweight Xiaonan Yan as she makes her UFC debut against veteran Kailin Curran at UFC Fight Night 122 in Shanghai, China.

Xiaonan “Fury” Yan

Hometown: Liaoning, China
Age: 28
Height: 5’5”
Weight Class: Strawweight
Camp: Extreme Sanda
Career Record: 7-1
Key Wins: None
Key Losses: None


The 28-year-old Chinese strawweight has won seven of her eight fights to start her career. For a fighter in this weight class, she has a high amount of knockouts with five in her career.


  • Very willing to engage on the feet
  • Good variety in her striking
  • Excellent kicking game
  • Good footwork


  • Poor striking defense
  • Can be controlled against the cage
  • Ground game complete unknown

Fighter Grade

Offensive Striking: C+
Striking Defense: D-
Knockout Power: C-
Athleticism/Speed: C-
Footwork: C-
Chin: D+
Offensive Wrestling: D-
Takedown Defense: D
Submissions: F
Conditioning: N/A
Intangibles: D

Overall Grade: D

Matchup with Kailin Curran

Kailin Curran welcomes Xiaonan Yan into the UFC. These fighters have similar builds, so physically this matchup is very similar. On the feet, the striking advantage goes to Yan. She does an excellent job throwing strikes from distance to setup her kicking game which is really dangerous. Yan should have some success on the feet in this fight and score points. Where this fight gets interesting is along the cage. Curran has the better grappling background and would be smart to push Yan against the cage and keep her at close distance. This is a tough fight to call as these fighters are at a similar overall skill level and each has an advantage in key components of the bout. Yan is fighting in her home country and Curran has found a way to lose fights she had a very good opportunity to win. Yan will be comfortable in her home setting and that should give her a small lift in this bout enough to slightly favor her to win this bout. Curran is certainly the more UFC experienced fighter, but the way she has lost bouts has made that experience a negative as opposed to a positive.

UFC Ceiling

Xiaonan Yan is an exciting addition to the strawweight division. She has a nice repertoire of strikes available to her on the feet and is not afraid to engage in the action. Her level of competition is certainly questionable entering the UFC, but she should fare well against other strikers. Her ground game is definitely a concern and will limit her ability for overall success in the sport.

Fight Film

Check out Xiaonan Yan in some of her most recent fights:

Xiaonan Yan vs. Emi Fujimo


Xiaonan Yan vs. So-Hee Lim


Written by Jay Primetown

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