UFC 295 Preview: Mackenzie Dern – Jessica Andrade

May 12, 2018; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil; Mackenzie Dern reacts after defeating Amanda Cooper (not seen)​​​ during UFC 224 at Jeunesse Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

Tomorrow night on the main card of UFC 295, we are going to see an important matchup in the strawweight division. Former world champion Jessica Andrade (24-12) will look to get back on track as she takes on top Brazilian contender Mackenzie Dern (13-3).

Jessica Andrade entered 2023 looking like she was going to challenge for a title. She started the year with an extremely dominant win over former flyweight title challenger Lauren Murphy and looked to be a top contender at 115 and 125. However, she’s fought three times since and she’s lost all three fights. Not just that, she’s been finished in all three. She desperately needs a win tomorrow night.

Mackenzie Dern last fought in May in a headliner against Angela Hill. Dern has been dealing with a lot of personal issues outside the octagon, but she focused on that fight and put on the performance of her career. Her striking looked sensational and she dominated the fight. Now, she’s looking to take out a former UFC champion for her second straight win.

UFC 295 Prediction

If this fight was a year ago, I’d say that the only way Dern can win is if the fight hits the mat. However, she’s really made strides in her striking while Jessica Andrade has continued to leave a ton of openings which can be taken advantage of. We know the power that Jessica Andrade has.

Andrade has some of if not the most power in the strawweight division. She fights like Wanderlei Silva in that she just pushes forward and throws ferocious hooks. The problem is that when she doesn’t find the finishing blows, the former UFC champion leaves herself wide open for counters and takedowns.

I think she’ll leave an opening that Dern will take advantage of. I see a beautifully timed takedown for Dern in the first and in a scramble, Andrade will give up her back. Dern will secure the back and a choke to get the win at UFC 295. I think we see Dern’s first submission win since 2021 tomorrow night.

Prediction: Mackenzie Dern by Submission – Round 1

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