UFC’s Yan Xiaonan debunks urban myth that groin strikes only impact men

Mixed martial arts were pioneered by men – so 30 years later the sport is still adjusting to the unique impact it might have on women fighters as opposed to men. This is something Yan Xiaonan had to learn the hard way.

During UFC 272 prelims Xiaonan was fighting Marina Rodriguez. As with men – majority of groin strikes commonly seen are not about direct impact. Xiaonan started strong in the first round – but than a huge illegal shot aimed straight at her groin left its mark. The commentary team was somewhat bewildered as to what exactly to say so they directed their attention to the playback video. During the replay Rogan bravely lead:

“Women don’t have as much protection there. I don’t feel like we should watch that”


Chinese fighter Xiaonan was in a peculiar situation. With her doubled over the doctors entered the octagon and the audience all of a sudden quieted down. The fight probably should’ve been stopped by Xiaonan decided to tough it out.

Yan told allstar she was concerned about the English language barier and how it would be taken and revealed the strike did a lot of damage:
“The groin getting kneed or kicked does not only affect male fighters. So at that moment, what I felt was my bone got hit and I can feel immediately there was some blood and plenty of pain, of course. But I didn’t tell my translator and the doctors. I was just worried that they will stop the fight. So I just told them it’s okay, give me some time.

“After the fight when I did the medical exam, yeah, there was a lot of blood there… very painful,” she added.