On the main card of UFC 273, we saw a pivotal matchup in the strawweight division. Top ten contenders battled it out as they looked to take one step closer towards a title shot as Mackenzie Dern (11-2) took on the surging Tecia Torres (13-5).
For Dern, she was looking to bounce back after a loss to Marina Rodriguez in her last fight. Prior to that, she had won four straight fights, finishing three of them. There’s always been a lot of hype surrounding Dern in the UFC and she was looking to take another step towards the top tonight.
However, standing in her way was Tecia Torres. The Tiny Tornado went through a rough stretch from 2018 to 2019 where she lost four fights in a row. However, it’s important to remember her competition. Three of the losses came against former UFC champions and one was to top contender Marina Rodriguez.
After the Rodriguez loss, she’s won three straight fights to earn this shot against Dern. Both ladies had a lot to prove in their fight this evening.
UFC 273 Recap
The UFC 273 strawweight contest kicked off with a touch of the gloves. Dern opens with some wild hooks but nothing lands. Lots of pressure from Dern to open this one. Nice right hand counter lands for Tecia Torres. Leg kick from Torres and Dern tries to get a body lock, but Torres shrugs her off.
Dern looking to work the jab. Torres is being very evasive here in the first couple of minutes. Nice right hand lands for Dern and she uses that to get a body lock. However, Torres reverses the position and she’s controlling Dern against the fence.
Nice cage pressure from Tecia Torres here. Good knee to the body from Dern and the two separate. Nice right hand over the top lands for Torres. Good leg kick from Torres and she’s doing a good job of landing as Dern advances.
Dern looks a little sloppy here as she tries to close the distance. She’s trying to work her jab, but Torres is landing more here. Low kick from Torres. Dern looks for a big right hand but it misses the mark.
Good body kick from Dern and she lands a big power shot behind it. Torres was wobbled there for a second. Side kick from Torres grants her some separation. Round comes to a close and I lean towards Tecia Torres in the first at UFC 273.
Entering the second at UFC 273 and the first round could have gone to either fighter. Dern immediately presses forward and looks to work the jab to start the second. Both ladies exchange kicks in the middle of the octagon.
Torres and Dern end up in a body lock. However, as soon as they are there, Dern hops on Torres and starts working for submissions. Dern attacking a kimura here. They end up on the ground and Dern is cranking the submission, however, Torres is defending well.
Torres survives, but Dern is chaining submission attempts. We are in Dern’s world right now and Torres is just trying to survive. Torres is stacking Dern here trying to prevent her from getting any leverage here.
Dern switches to attacking the leg and she’s working a knee bar. Torres still surviving and defending well with 30 seconds left in the round. Nice ground and pound here from Dern and it looks like Torres is going to survive. The second is in the books at UFC 273 and it could be all square going into the final frame.
Entering the final round at UFC 273 and whoever wins this round should win the fight. The final round is underway and these two waste no time. Both open with a big exchange where they both partially landed.
Nice side kick from Torres but Dern counters with a big body kick of her own. Low kick from Torres. Dern is heavy on the pressure here trying to close the distance. Nice side kick to the leg from Torres but Dern walks right through it.
Nice 1-2 lands for Dern. Wheel kick lands for Torres but Dern is able to catch a leg. Nice trip from Dern and she gets a takedown. However, a nice upkick from Torres immediately gets Dern off her and Torres quickly gets back up.
90 seconds left in the round and this is still anyone’s fight. Big right hand over the top from Dern. Body kick lands for Torres. Torres pushing forward and she lands a couple of shots and follows up with a low kick.
Body kick lands for Torres and she’s throwing a lot here in the final minute. Torres much more active than Dern in the final round and she should get the win here but it’s going to be very close.
Mackenzie Dern def. Tecia Torres by Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)