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Marina Rodriguez calls Xiaonan ‘great test’, believes finish makes her ‘next in line’ for title

Strawweight contender Marina Rodriguez is set to face Yan Xiaonan at UFC 272.

Marina Rodriguez defeated Mackenzie Dern in her last outing.
Marina Rodriguez defeated Mackenzie Dern in her last outing.
Photo by Louis Grasse/PxImages

UFC strawweight contender Marina Rodriguez believes she has never been closer to a title fight. Now paired up against Yan Xiaonan for an important fight at UFC 272, the Brazilian feels like there is a chance that a title shot could be within her reach with another dynamic victory.

In an interview with Ag Fight, Rodriguez showed nothing but respect towards her opponent, but believes the pairing favors her style. In fact, she hopes to score another TKO win against Xiaonan, to really make a statement to the promotion about her title run.

“We knew we would have to have another great test before we got to the belt. Yan has been on our radar for a long time now. We have already studied her game and now we will have another great opportunity to take a huge step towards where we want to get, which is a title shot. I believe I will (fight for the title) if I beat Yan impressively. If it’s a knockout or a submission, I’m sure my name will be the next one in their minds.”

“I think she will want to strike.” Rodriguez added, speaking of the matchup. “That’s the perfect scenario for me. I’ll get to show my striking skills. Just like it happened in my fight against Amanda Ribas. She went all out and I was able to connect and knock her out. If Yan does the same, it’s going to be an excellent fight. I’ll be able to show more of my knockout power. Since she’s training at Team Alpha Male, she might have a different gameplan. We’ll find out in the fight.”

Currently on a three-fight winning streak, Rodriguez (15-1-2) defeated Mackenzie Dern, Michelle Waterson and the aforementioned Ribas in her most recent outings. The 34-year-old’s last loss came in July 2020, when she dropped a unanimous decision to former champion Carla Esparza.

UFC 272 is set to take place on March 5, in Las Vegas, Nevada. The card is expected to be headlined by a welterweight bout between former interim champion Colby Covington and BMF champ Jorge Masvidal.