Yan Xiaonan revealed a groin shot at UFC 272 left her with ‘a lot of blood’.
The Chinese star took on fellow top-ranked women’s strawweight contender, Marina Rodriguez, at last weekend’s event in Las Vegas.
Yan lost the bout on a split decision, despite getting off to a strong start in the first round.
The 32-year-old has since revealed to The AllStar that an illegal groin shot impacted her performance and even put the rest of the fight in jeopardy.
“I think the first round I performed 100 percent, very well,” she said. “But, then I got kneed in the groin and that hurt me a little bit and affected my performance.
“The second and third round, not that good. But, I wanted that fight very badly so I still tried my best.
“The groin getting kneed or kicked does not only affect male fighters. So at that moment, what I felt was my bone got hit and I can feel immediately there was some blood and plenty of pain, of course.
“But I didn’t tell my translator and the doctors. I was just worried that they will stop the fight. So I just told them it’s okay, give me some time.
Yan added: “After the fight when I did the medical exam, yeah, there was a lot of blood there … very painful.”
Following the agonising incident, Yan disclosed that she was considering wearing protection when training and sparring to prevent a similar injury.
The loss was a tough blow for Yan, who won her first six bouts in the Octagon but has now racked up successive defeats to Carla Esparza and Rodriguez respectively.
After her match against Rodriguez, who is number nine in the UFC women’s pound-for-pound rankings, Yan claimed the judges had made the wrong decision.
“I rewatched the fight immediately when I arrived at the athletes’ hotel with my coaches, with my team,” she said.
“All of us certainly believe I won the first two rounds. The third round, we can give her, but still pretty close. So I feel I won that fight.”