5 of the best Chinese fighters right now

MMA in China is more popular than ever thanks to these five fighters.
UFC 281: Adesanya v Pereira
UFC 281: Adesanya v Pereira / Jamie Squire/GettyImages
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4. Yan Xiaonan

Yan "Fury" Xiaonan had the honor of being the first Chinese female fighter signed by the UFC. She made good on this show of faith by the organization, winning her debut fight via unanimous decision on their November 2017 Shanghai card.

Since then, Xiaonan has not only established herself as the No. 9 pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC's women's division, but also as the No. 3 overall strawweight fighter.

Xiaonan was born in the northeast region of Shenyang, Liaoning, China. She began Sanda training at 13 years old and competed in the sport for years, occasionally dipping her toe into MMA competition starting in 2009. However, it wasn't until 2015 that Xiaonan fully committed herself to MMA after taking a five-year gap to focus on Sanda.

Mostly focusing on volume striking and an unorthodox array of kicks, including a lethal sidekick, Xiaonan controls distance well and uses her movement to avoid counterstrikes and grappling. She has been known to mix in takedowns and control time, but blitzing forward with punches and confusing her opponents with tight footwork is her usual strategy.

Like the aforementioned Yadong, Xiaonan trains out of Sacramento, California's, Team Alpha Male. She has since become a more well-rounded mixed martial artist in her time there and it shows in her main event win over highly regarded BJJ black belt Mackenzie Dern and her most recent knockout of former champion, Jessica Andrade back at UFC 288.

Sporting an impressive 17-3 (1) record, Xiaonan is right there in the strawweight title picture and continues establishing herself as one of the most technical fighters in her respective division.