Yan Xiaonan may have punched his way into a title shot.
At UFC 288 on Saturday, Xiaonan (17-3 MMA, 8-2 UFC) floored and finished aggressive former UFC women's strawweight champion, Jessica Andrade (24-11 MMA, 15-9 UFC). The stoppage came at 2:20 of round 1.
The bout was part of the main card at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ.
Xiaonan remained calm when forward-pressure and striking met a vintage Andrade storm. As Andrade went forward with repeated left hands, Xiaonan planted him with counter right hands. The follow-up shot ends up working off.
Xiaonan, 33, won back-to-back fights. In October, she defeated Mackenzie Dern by majority decision. Unlike many of his strawweight competitors, Xiaonan presents a new matchup with title holder Zhang Weili (23-3 MMA, 7-2 UFC), who currently has no fights on the books.
"I think if we can both represent the growth of women from China at the highest level of MMA, the highest level of this sport, I think it's pride," Xiaonan said through an interpreter. “We are proud of our country. So, Dana, let's make it happen."
With the loss, Andrade falls into a two-fight skid. In February, Andre was submitted by Erin Blanchfield at flyweight.