Joanna vs Yan is the next fight in a series of fights I want to see the most in 2021 in each weight class. We go to the smallest division, Women’s Strawweight. If you missed it, be sure to check out my lightweight article.
Can’t Miss TV
Both of these women bring it! Joanna versus Yan, named due to the fact I struggle spelling Joanna’s last name, has fight of the year potential written all over it. This fight would be a title eliminator, and with Strawweight Champ Weili Zhang already booked for 2021, it makes too much sense. All Yan has done since entering the UFC is win, posting a stellar 6-0 record. Joanna, on the other hand, is one of the greatest fighters in the promotions history. This matchup would be an absolute banger.
MMA fans around the world have been treated to some all-time classics by this woman. Her March title fight versus current champ Weili Zhang has my vote for fight of the year, despite some of the late showings in 2020. It was one of those, “I remember where I was when” moments for me. The hematoma on her forehead, the non-stop action, the forward pressure, the extremely high-level striking; there’s nothing more you could ask for from striking as a fight fan. Besides her most recent fight, she defended the belt as champion five times. She ultimately lost the belt to Rose Namajunas in 2017. Joanna is world class in every aspect of mixed martial arts, and demonstrates as much every time she enters the octagon. She is among my favorite fighters to watch in any weight. Very few fighters have delivered fan friendly performances with the same consistency.
Since becoming the first Chinese female to sign with the UFC in 2017, “Fury” has a flawless record. She has six unanimous decisions in her six octagon visits and her three most recent fights have been against very dangerous women. She has shown some flaws in her fights, such as when the bell saved her from a potential triangle by Angela Hill in June of 2019. Yan has appeared to improve dramatically between every appearance, however, and this fight against Joanna would be the perfect opportunity for her to showcase a complete skillset. There can be no doubting her willingness to engage, as she puts on a fire show every time out. Joanna versus Yan would be can‘t miss TV.
Styles Make Fights
In the MMA world, its all about style. Two counterpunchers will often spend too much time gauging their opponents timing. Grapplers sometimes respect each other’s grappling so much they spend the entire fight “kickboxing”. In this fight, the styles we get from both fighters leads me to believe we would see highly technical striking clashes in the center of the octagon. This is a prime opportunity for the UFC to showcase the elite level talent living at the top of the division, and to establish who gets the winner of the upcoming Namajunas versus Zhang title fight. Joanna versus Yan is my vote for 2021 Strawweight perfection.