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UFC 278 results: Lucie Pudilova delivers vicious elbow strikes to finish Wu Yanan on the ground

MMA: AUG 19 UFC 278 Photo by Amy Kaplan/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Lucie Pudilova made the most of her return at UFC 278 after delivering an absolutely vicious finish against Wu Yanan on the main card on Saturday.

It was a ground heavy strategy from the start but once Pudilova dragged the fight to the canvas in the second round she mauled Wu with submission attempts before hammering down on her with a series of devastating elbow strikes. The repetitive blows with Wu just stuck underneath Pudilova forced the referee to stop the fight with the official end time coming at 4:04 in the second round.

“I can’t believe I’m back in the UFC,” Pudilova said. “This fight was to go for grappling and to go for finish. I finished her with my elbows. Finally, I do this. I am very happy.”

There was no hiding Pudilova’s game plan after she initiated a clinch early and then grabbed a well-timed takedown to put Wu on the canvas midway through the opening round. Pudilova quickly advanced into side control as she applied pressure on Wu but she wasn’t dishing out much damage as her offense largely stalled despite being in a dominant position.

When the fight got back to the feet, Wu tried to stay at a distance to set up her strikes but her output wasn’t very high as Pudilova continued to wait for the right moment to dive inside again. It was ultimately the head and arm throw that Pudilova used to bring Wu back to the ground as she quickly moved into position to secure the back.

From there, Pudilova looked for the rear-naked choke as Wu scrambled to escape yet remained stuck on the bottom with little chance to escape. Once she realized Wu was outgunned in the grappling exchanges, Pudilova advanced to the guard where she began dropping punches and elbows in succession.

Once Wu turned to her side to lessen the shots she was taking, Pudilova began throwing elbows that came crashing down on her opponent’s head and that was ultimately enough to end the fight.

Following a disappointing four-fight losing streak that ended her previous stint with the UFC, Pudilova put together a 4-1 resume outside the promotion to come back and finally get her first win in the octagon since 2018.

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