May 25, 2024

Yan Xiaonan speaks out on the biggest controversy of UFC 300 amid Daniel Cormier’s claims


The most controversial moment of UFC 300 happened in the first round of the co-main event between Zhang Weili and Yan Xiaonan.

Zhang Weili successfully defended her strawweight title for the second time during her current reign, beating Yan Xiaonan via unanimous decision.

Despite the fight going all five rounds, the champion sunk in a rear-naked choke at the end of round one, which clearly put the challenger to sleep for a brief moment.

Xiaonan popped back up to her fight and was clearly dazed but somehow made it back to her stool.

Daniel Cormier claimed Yan Xiaonan’s corner used smelling salts

Following the almost fight-ending submission, Xiaonan stumbled back to her corner as her team began trying to wake her up fully.

UFC 300: Zhang Weili v Yan Xiaonan
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

The cutman asked her team if they wanted him to wake her up, and proceeded to push his finger against the bridge of her nose. On the broadcast, commentator, Daniel Cormier, claimed that smelling salts were used to fully wake the 34-year-old up.

Cormier and Joe Rogan went back and forth explaining how that isn’t allowed, but the situation was seemingly shrugged off.

The only previous situation where something similar happened, was when Greg Hardy used his inhaler in the interval between rounds, during his fight with Ben Sosoli. That fight was overturned to a no contest because of the controversy.

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Yan Xiaonan issues response to smelling salt claims

Since her loss to Weili, the 34-year-old has come out and put the claims to bed, stating that smelling salts were not used.

“I didn’t notice what the cutman was doing between rounds because when I went back to the corner, I was still recovering from the choke so the only thing I could see was Urijah (Faber).” Xiaonan explained on The MMA Hour.

Despite not fully knowing what the cutman was doing, Xiaonan knows that smelling salts were not used, and has said the claims ‘make no sense’.

“The smelling salt thing makes no sense, nobody had those, nobody used those things to wake me up it makes no sense, you guys know it’s not allowed to be used.” Xiaonan added.

‘Nine’ went on to explain how she felt the thing that woke her back up was the ice and water that was being poured over her.

“The thing I could feel waking me up was the water and ice they poured over my head, which helped me to be more clear, the press under my nose I don’t feel like it really helped but I trust those cutmen, they’re professional, they know what they’re doing.” Xiaonan finished.

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