Saturday's UFC Fight Night 211 event is in the books, and now that the dust has settled in Las Vegas, it's time to go to the scorecard to see who the big winners were at the UFC Apex.
1. Yan Xiaonan
After a long road to a UFC main event, Yan Xiaonan delivered in a big way by defeating fellow strawweight contender Mackenzie Dern last Saturday. It was an introduction of sorts to the China native, who got to display her skills in a five-round headliner, and she held off one of the sport's top grapplers in the process.
Nearly five years after her debut, Yan has arrived, and wouldn't that be something if the stars aligned and Zhang Weili regains her 115-pound title when she faces Carla Esparza in November, setting up an all-China showdown for the crown? That wouldn't just be a big fight for the combatants, but for the sport and for China.
2. Brendan Allen
Brendan Allen has always been on the verge of realizing his potential in the UFC. On Saturday, he may have reached that point in emphatic fashion as he submitted Krzysztof Jotko. And while some put together impressive performances, you often look at who that performance came against, and it takes away some of the luster. Not this time. Jotko is a veteran force who has long been among the best middleweights in the UFC, and Allen finished him with an effort that has to put him in the top 15 this week.
3. Daniel Santos
I bet you're all Daniel Santos fans now. Competitive in a UFC debut loss to Julio Arce in April, the Brazilian appeared to be on his way to an 0-2 octagon slate when he faced John Castaneda, but those Chute Boxe kids are made from pretty tough stock, so he weathered the storm, came back in round two and finished a tough out who hadn't been on the receiving end of a stoppage loss since 2014. Sure, "Willycat" is still raw, but so was one of his teammates, Charles Oliveira.
4. Chelsea Chandler
Welcome to the UFC, Chelsea Chandler. Not that the Gracie team member from Stockton was interested in sticking around for too long, as she put in a powerhouse effort in stopping veteran Julija Stoliarenko in a little over four minutes. Able to fight at 135 or 145 pounds, Chandler is going to turn some heads and provide some sleepless nights for opponents who may have to face her.
5. Sodiq Yusuff
Some might say Sodiq Yusuff's 30-second win over Don Shainis was no surprise. And maybe it wasn't, considering Yusuff's standing in the featherweight division and Shainis coming in on short notice to make his UFC debut. But the impressive part is that all the elements were there for Yusuff to take his foot off the gas and get caught napping. But instead of just showing up for a paycheck, Yusuff made a statement that he's going to be on all the time, no matter who's standing across from him. And that's a good sign for a fighter on the rise.
This story first published at UFC.com.