Yan Xiaonan dissmises smelling salts controversy, claims she wasn’t ‘completely out’ during RNC sequence at UFC 300

Yan Xiaonan exhibited sheer resilience during the UFC 300 co-main event, showcasing her unwavering spirit despite facing a precarious situation.

Xiaonan was clearly surprised and wobbly when she stood up at the conclusion of Round 1, but she insists she was never completely unsconscious.

After being rescued by the bell from a RNC attempt by Zhang Weili (17-4 MMA, 8-3 UFC), Xiaonan battled to reach her corner. After closely examining the situation, referee Jason Herzog decided that the title challenger may continue.

Through a translator, Xiaonan said: “I was close, but not completely out. I saw the clock on the cage side and knew there were only a few seconds left. I signaled to the referee that I was OK, but with only one hand to defend, the choke was tightening. When the bell rang, I knew I had to stand up to show I could continue. I was wobbly but managed to make it to my corner.”

Some viewers were confused by the peculiar incident and the officiating that went along with it. Commentators for UFC 300 (Daniel Cormier and Joe Rogan) raised the prospect of smelling salt being used when Xiaonan’s cornerman pushed his finger under her nose. However, they subsequently emphasized that they did not believe this to have happened.

Xiaonan stated: “He put his finger under my nose and pressed. Honestly, I was so focused on my cornermen talking that I didn’t notice much else. And I also asked my corner which round is next? Second? Because I kind of couldn’t remember it at that moment.”

What the bookies predicted would be an easy win for Weili turned out to be a close match that won Xiaonan praise from many in the mixed martial arts world, including UFC CEO Dana White.

The winner of the match turned out to be Zhang Weili (25-3 MMA, 9-2 UFC) by unanimous decision. Even though she hasn’t decided on her future step, Xiaonan is still full of energy after losing her first UFC championship match.

She said: “I’ll keep training and fighting the top contenders the UFC gives me, with the goal of fighting for the title again. And, if the UFC considers a women’s BMF belt, count me in!”