Returning to the winner’s enclosure for the first time since her third round bludgeoning at the hand of current undisputed strawweight champion, Carla Esparza, and a judging loss to Marina Rodriguez, Chinese contender, Yan Xiaonan manages to outlast Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu maestro, Mackenzie Dern over the course of five rounds — nabbing a close, majority decision (48-47, 48-47, 47-47) victory in the main event of UFC Vegas 61.

Sidelined from the winning circle since dropping a ground strikes knockout loss to Esparza back in May of last year, to go with a split decision defeat against common-foe, Rodriguez back in March, Yan Xiaonan had yet to taste victory since a 2020 win over Claudia Gadelha.

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As for Dern, the Jason Parillo product and RVCA trainee had returned to winning ways herself earlier this year with a close judging win over the veteran, Tecia Torres — after she saw her run of four straight wins stopped by Rodriguez.

Testing the grappling and in particular, the wrestling defense of Xiaonan throughout tonight’s 25 minute main event, Dern threatened on numerous occasions with a varied attack including rear-naked chokes, armbars, and event an omoplata, however, prior foundations laid by Xiaonan on the feet guided the Liaoning native to her seventh Octagon triumph.

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Below, catch the highlights from Yan Xiaonan’s decision success against Mackenzie Dern

Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.