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In the Women’s Strawweight division, we have a pivotal battle between Marina Rodriguez and Yan “Nine” Xiaonan. Coming into this contest with three straight wins, Rodriguez is nearing a title shot. One in which is deserving, but may come with some time off, as Carla Esparza has been promised the next title shot. Meanwhile, Xiaonan will look to rebound from not only her first loss in the UFC, but since 2011. Still right there in the title picture, Xiaonan has a good chance to bolster her case with a win over the third ranked Strawweight Rodriguez.

As for a prediction, I have Rodriguez winning. While Xiaonan is a formidable opponent and a talented striker, Rodriguez is just as good on the feet and has a clear power edge. One in which should disrupt Xiaonan on the feet, slowing her pace and willingness to throw with volume. Given Xiaonan has little wrestling chops, her route to winning narrows. Especially given wrestling has oft been problematic to Rodriguez. So with the Brazilian being able to be comfortable on the feet and seeing how Xiaonan was stopped in her last fight, it’s not unfeasible to believe Rodriguez can’t also get the job done. In fact, I believe she will. So with that said, I predict that Rodriguez will win via knockout.

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