Yan Xiaonan on surviving UFC 300 choke: ‘If you give Weili 10 more seconds, I am definitely completely out’

Yan Xiaonan admits Zhang Weili was seconds away from submitting her.

This past Saturday, Yan challenged strawweight champion Zhang for her title in the co-main event of UFC 300, losing a unanimous decision. But losing a decision can be viewed as a bit of a moral victory for Yan, as Zhang had her in a rear-naked choke attempt at the end of the first round that nearly put Yan to sleep. Speaking through a translator on Wednesday’s episode of The MMA Hour, Yan talked about just how close the choke was.

“She took my back and she got the rear-naked choke position very quickly,” Yan said. “But at that moment, I still believed I could defend that. Then when she swept me, I was facing the roof of the arena and I could see the clock on the big screen. When I saw that there was about 10 seconds left, I thought, ‘OK, I can go through this round.’ But the last second, when the bell rung, I was almost out. Like somebody almost knocked me out. But I still recognized that I needed to stand up immediately and tried my best to walk to my corner to show that the fight was still able to continue.”

Yan noted that she injured one of her thumbs prior to the fight, which she says allowed Zhang to secure the choke so easily.

Even so, Yan still admits that she was moments away from disaster at the end of the round.

“I think if you give Weili 10 more seconds, I am definitely completely out,” Yan said. “But this is just like any game. [In a] basketball game, if you shoot the ball [after] the last second and you make the shot, it [doesn’t count].”

Ultimately, Yan was able to get to her feet after the round ended, and though she was clearly disoriented, she made her way back to the corner. During the break, there was some confusion by the commentary team, which thought the cutman used smelling salts to revive Yan — something not allowed under the rules. They ultimately walked that claim back on the broadcast, and Yan says there is no truth to it whatsoever.

“To be honest, I didn’t notice what the cutman was doing between rounds because when I went back to my corner, I was still recovering from the choke,” Yan explained. “The only thing I can see is [coaches] Urijah [Faber] and Danny [Castillo] stood there talking, but I cannot absorb anything they said. I didn’t notice what the cutman was doing. But the smelling salts thing makes no sense. Definitely nobody used those things to wake me up.

“The thing that helped wake me up was the water and ice they poured over my head. That helped my mind to be more clear.”

Though Yan says she was back to normal by the start of the second round, she did end up losing that round in a big way, as Zhang took her down and nearly earned a finish with punches, resulting in 10-8 scores across the board. But despite a bad start to the fight, Yan rallied, winning the third round and giving Zhang a run for her money down the stretch. It may not have been enough to win a decision, but it was enough to earn some respect from UFC CEO Dana White and a bunch of new fans.

“I can definitely feel the love from many people,” Yan said. “Right after the fight, Dana came to the cage and he came to me and checked the tattoo behind my ear, ‘Born To Fight.’ he said, ‘Let me see your tattoo.’ I think he kind of also recognized my performance and thought I was born to fight.

“Even today, I returned to the gym and everybody from my gym told me, ‘We are so proud of you. Proud of your performance, your heart, your will. You showed your championship will.’ But I still lost the fight so it still makes me a little sad, and regret my performance, because I do believe I can do better in the fight. But this is just a lesson. I will keep working on my way to improve myself.”

Source link

You May Also Like