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Wu Yanan seeks rebirth at JacksonWink ahead of UFC return

“No matter who UFC gives me, I will take another fight because I just want to fight no matter who they give me.”

When Wu Yanan wins, she wins emphatically. With the 25-year-old’s return to the Octagon on Apr. 16, 2022, looming near, victory by any means necessary will be essential.

Wu’s 12 career wins in mixed martial arts (MMA) consist of a balanced six TKOs and five submissions. Unfortunately for the Chaoyang, Liaoning, China native, she hasn’t gotten to display her full capabilities as much as she’d like during her Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) run.

Nov. 2017 marked the debut of Wu in the promotion and saw her drop a unanimous decision to Gina Mazany in Shanghai. This coming before she dropped from the 135-pound Bantamweight class to 125-pounds at Flyweight — a division she isn’t ruling out a return to at some point.

One year later for her sophomore appearance in Beijing opposite Lauren Mueller, Wu showed glimmers of what fans more often than not came to expect by submitting Mueller with an armbar in four minutes.

“Of course, I felt very happy and excited about this win,” Wu told MMAMania.com. “I lost my UFC debut in Shanghai and I am a striker so jiu-jitsu is kind of my weakness, so in my second fight, I won over my opponent by submission, that made me very, very excited.

“I will try [to show off ground game more] because we are MMA fighters, we need to be able to do everything — striking, grappling. Our goal is definitely to win the fight so I will win the fight by any manner, striking or grappling.”

Continually working her overall game, Wu can currently call herself a blue belt in the jiu-jitsu department. But like most MMA fighters born and raised in China, the striking art of Sanda is simply a part of the culture.

“I started from Sanda kickboxing and transitioned to MMA,” Wu said. “I think all the Sanda kickboxers in China should try MMA because first, this sport is getting bigger and bigger. Secondly, it’s a very interesting game; MMA. Striking, wrestling, jiu-jitsu, and to me personally, I love jiu-jitsu. I think it’s very fun, very interesting, so yeah, it’s worth trying.”

That 2018 submission of Mueller was the last time Wu had her hand raised as defeat, injury, and fight cancelations have plagued her since.

In 2019, Wu had two scheduled meetings with Luana Carolina fall through due to injuries sustained by each fighter. Wu eventually landed a bout with Mizuki Inoue whom she fought to a split decision loss against.

Wu missed all of 2020 due to travel restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Set to battle Bethe Correia in Correia’s retirement fight in Jan. 2021, the Brazilian former title challenger left Wu hanging once again as Corriea withdrew for undisclosed reasons. Correia was replaced by Joselyne Edwards who picked up a unanimous decision over the Chinese prospect.

For that last camp, Wu took her talents to California to train with Team Oyama — most known for housing names like Ian McCall and former UFC champion Carla Esparza. Two more fight cancelations followed for matchups with Nicco Montano and Josiane Nunes before Wu suffered a knee injury. Thus leading her to Las Vegas and the UFC Performance Institute (UFC P.I.) to help with her rehab.

The Bantamweight hopeful in Wu will once again make a big gym change ahead of her UFC Vegas 51 bout with Mayra Bueno Silva in what could be a do-or-die scenario.

“My camp for my last fight was at Team Oyama. This time, I’m actually training at JacksonWink MMA,” she shared. “I only came to Vegas for the knee rehab at the UFC P.I. So the reason why is to learn from different gyms, experience different cultures, and I have a coach who has taught me before in China at JacksonWink so that’s why this time I’m choosing JacksonWink for my fight camp.

“I want to fight again so badly. But there are a lot of factors we cannot control like the last cancelation because my opponent missed weight then this time my knee got injured. But we can’t control all of these things, I just want to fight, for sure.

“That’s why I know when my knee can be recovered very soon, I’ve taken the fight for April. Immediately,” Wu added. “No matter who UFC gives me, I will take another fight because I just want to fight no matter who they give me.”