China’s Wu Yanan welcomed the returning Lucie Pudilova back to the octagon at UFC 278 in Salt Lake City on Saturday.
Pudilova was kicking off her second stint with the promotion, having gone 5-1 under the Oktagon MMA banner after exiting the UFC for the first time in 2020.
Pudilova opened the action with a jab, and almost immediately moved in on a single-leg takedown attempt. Yanan fought that off, and they would move back to center, but not before the Chinese bantamweight landed an elbow off the break. At range, she fired out some low kicks, and switched stances more than once. Pudilova, however, changed levels, shot in, and landed a takedown, only to be faced with an arm-bar attempt.
Escaping the submission, Pudilova went to work from side control, staying tight to her opponent’s body and keeping the pressure on. That led to a warning from the ref to stay active and get to work; Pudilova fired a hammer fist in response, and would later add a few elbow/forearm strikes while trying to set up an arm-triangle choke. Pudilova then stepped into mount, but a scramble allowed Yanan to escape.
Round two opened with an early exchange; Pudilova landed a left. Yanan fired a leg kick again, and a couple more inside of the opening minute. It was about halfway through the round when Pudilova finally got the fight down, using a front headlock to control Yanan. Pudilova then transitioned to the back, got hooks in, and went hunting for a rear-naked choke. Yanan fought the hands, and escaped the position but was still stuck on the ground with Pudilova on top of her — as her corner hollered “again, Lucie! Again!”
Smashing elbows followed as Pudilova moved into mount. Yanan gave up her back, only to take more damage from punches. She wound up on her side, covering up and eating elbows as the ref saved her.
Improved boxing, grappling, and a strong finish — Lucie Pudilova was dominant in her return.
Official Result: Lucie Pudilova def. Wu Yanan by TKO, Round 2, 4:04