After falling short at UFC Vegas 39, what’s next for Mackenzie Dern?

This past Saturday in the main event of UFC Vegas 39, we saw a pivotal matchup in the strawweight division. Top contenders battled it out as Mackenzie Dern (11-2) took on Marina Rodriguez (15-1-2).

Heading into the matchup, the path to victory seemed relatively clear for both ladies. For Dern, she was going to need to get the fight to the ground. She arguably has the best jiu-jitsu out of any female fighter in the UFC.

She has improved striking, but Rodriguez is so much more seasoned on the feet. Rodriguez needed to keep the fight standing where she was going to have a massive advantage, especially from range.

One of the things that concerned me about Dern going into the fight was her takedowns. Despite all of her submission wins, Dern is not effective at all with her takedowns. Coming into UFC Vegas 39, she was only succeeding at a 10% clip.

While the fight did touch the mat a few times on Saturday, Dern’s inability to take the fight down ended up being her downfall. Rodriguez controlled most of the fight on the feet and survived the grappling exchanges to win a decision.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 39?

For Dern, this fight is a reset. The surging contender had won four fights in a row and she was looking to become the star that the UFC believes she can be. As mentioned, she’s becoming more well-rounded, but she’s still a little too one-dimensional.

With the loss, Dern falls to 6-2 in eight fights in the UFC. She’s still one of the better strawweights in the world, but she has to continue to improve her striking and she definitely needs to improve her offensive wrestling.

If Dern can become a fighter who’s dangerous with takedowns, she can easily become a world champion. Now that her winning streak is snapped, who should be next for Mackenzie Dern?

Well, one fighter I like for Dern is a little down the rankings in Tecia Torres (13-5). Torres is just inside the top ten and she’s won three fights in a row. She’s been begging the UFC for a top contender and I think Dern fits the bill.

She showed great striking in her last fight, but she’s been known throughout her career for her wrestling. It would be an interesting stylistic matchup and it would be fun to see how both ladies would approach it. For Dern, it would be the slight step back she needs while still taking on a tough customer.

After impressive win at UFC Vegas 39, what’s next for Marina Rodriguez?

This past Saturday in the main event of UFC Vegas 39, we saw a battle between two of the best strawweights in the world. Top ranked contenders Marina Rodriguez (15-1-2) took on Mackenzie Dern (11-2).

Heading into the fight, I kept thinking that the path to victory was pretty clear for both fighters. For Dern, it was going to be vital getting Rodriguez to the mat. Dern is not someone you want to go to the mat with and if you do, you’re likely going to tap.

For Rodriguez, she needed to keep the fight standing. While Dern had made significant improvements in her striking, she doesn’t have the distance control and preciseness that Rodriguez had. I figured a striking battle would show some holes in her stand up game.

Well, at UFC Vegas 39, we saw a lot of striking. While the two ladies were on the feet, it went exactly how I thought. It was fairly one-sided with Rodriguez landing the much better shots and controlling the range well.

Where I was wrong is how the fight went on the ground. I figured if it touched the grown, Dern would pick up the win. However, despite getting on top a few times, Dern couldn’t find the submission at UFC Vegas 39 and Rodriguez went on to win a decision.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 39?

This was a massive win for Rodriguez and perhaps puts her only a fight or two away from getting a crack at the UFC strawweight title. With that in mind, who should the promotion pair her with next.

In terms of rankings and winning streaks, the one opponent that makes sense is a rematch with Carla Esparza (18-6). Esparza is a former UFC champion and is the only woman to have defeated Rodriguez in her professional career.

However, I don’t see the former UFC champion taking that fight. I think she’s set on waiting for the winner of the rematch between Zhang Weili and Rose Namajunas. That’s a shot Esparza deserves and I think she’ll get it.

The fight the UFC should make is between Rodriguez and Joanna Jedrzejczyk (16-4). The former champion is hoping to return early next year and who wouldn’t want to see this battle between these two technical strikers.

Not sure that Jedrzejczyk would take it if the UFC offers, but that’s definitely the fight that I’d try to make next.

UFC Vegas 39 Preview: Mackenzie Dern – Marina Rodriguez

Tonight in the main event of UFC Vegas 39, we are going to see a pivotal showdown in the strawweight division. Top contenders will battle it out as Mackenzie Dern (11-1) takes on Marina Rodriguez (14-1-2).

Rodriguez will be making the walk for the eighth time in her UFC career. After entering the octagon for the first time a perfect 10-0, Rodriguez has gone 4-1-2 through her first seven fights.

Heading into UFC Vegas 39, she’s on a two-fight win streak. In her last fight, she fought Michelle Waterson, but the two fought at 125 pounds. It was an entertaining fight that Rodriguez pulled off by decision.

Standing across from Rodriguez tonight will be Mackenzie Dern. Dern has everything the UFC is looking for a in a potential star and she’s really coming into her own. Known for her tremendous jiu jitsu, it’s been her striking that has impressed in her last few fights.

After losing her first career fight to Amanda Ribas, Dern has gone on a four-fight win streak. She continues to look better and better and at UFC Vegas 39, she’s going to look to put herself in title contention.

UFC Vegas 39 Prediction

To me, this is a really tough main event to predict. On one hand, you know that if the fight touches the mat at UFC Vegas 39, Dern becomes a massive favorite. Marina Rodriguez doesn’t want to come close to touching the mat against Dern.

That said, will the fight ever get there is the question. Dern is not the best when it comes to landing takedowns. Despite her impressive wins by submissions in the UFC, she’s only succeeding on a little over 10% of her offensive takedowns.

Her submissions have come when others have shockingly taken her down or followed her to the ground. Rodriguez is not going to do this. In her last few fights, Rodriguez has looked like a sniper at range and I expect her to strike from the outside.

You should expect a lot of pressure fighting from Dern at UFC Vegas 39. She doesn’t want this to be a technical striking match because she will lose. She wants this fight in close and best case scenario it touches the mat.

I really thought I’d pick Dern in this spot, but I have a suspicion that Rodriguez pulls this off tonight. I think she’ll be able to land some nice counters and big shots from distance which will be just enough to score a decision. However, don’t be shocked at all to see a Dern submission if the fight goes to the ground.

Prediction: Marina Rodriguez by Decision

Mackenzie Dern on path to stardom ahead of first UFC main event

UFC strawweight Mackenzie Dern is unlike most other Americans in many ways (just listen to her speak), but the way she is perhaps most profoundly different is that she has found a way to flourish professionally during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dern has enjoyed a solid push from the UFC brass ever since she debuted as an undefeated fighter back in 2018, finding herself fighting on main cards in 6/7 of her bouts for the promotion so far.

Yet, only one of those took place on an actual PPV event, while this will also be her first time ever headlining a UFC show in any capacity.

Despite many labeling Saturday night’s upcoming UFC Vegas 39 event as a serious contender for weakest card of 2021, there is still always something to be said for anyone headlining any event for the leading MMA company on the planet.

Up until this point, it has been generally believed that Mackenzie Dern’s popularity – both within the UFC brass and amongst fans – has mostly been based around her looks and social media presence (she currently boasts almost 1M followers on Instagram).

While that may have some truth to it, anyone would be a fool not to recognize Dern as the elite prospect (now entering her prime) that she really is. The Brazilian National heads into this fight against a super game Marina Rodriguez (14-1-2) with a stellar 6-1 record in the UFC (11-1 overall).

The BJJ prodigy also has recorded four finishes (all coming in the first round and by submission) which is a very high finishing percentage, especially compared to other female fighters.

The women’s strawweight division is universally recognized as the toughest, deepest division in all of women’s MMA and the #4-ranked Dern has a chance to make another statement in the biggest spot of her career.

Will a win at UFC Vegas 39 lead Dern to a title shot?

With plenty of attention being focused on the upcoming 115-pound title rematch between Rose Namajunas and Weili Zhang taking place on November 6th at UFC 268, Mackenzie Dern could do well for herself to score an impressive finish this weekend.

Taking out the very formidable, and #6-ranked 115’er in a main event spot could potentially be enough for the BJJ Black Belt to earn herself a title shot sometime in 2022.

More than likely, though, it’ll take one more win after this one to sew that shot up.

Crazier things have surely already taken place in the UFC, and you can bet Dern believes she is just one more fantastic submission away from getting her first shot at UFC gold.

UFC targeting Mackenzie Dern – Marina Rodriguez next

The UFC is close to finalizing a pivotal matchup in the women’s strawweight division. Dana White announced on TMZ Sports over the weekend that rising star Mackenzie Dern (11-1) will be fighting Marina Rodriguez (14-1-2) next.

Dern and Rodriguez are both inside the UFC‘s top six at strawweight. As of now, the promotion doesn’t have an exact date, but White indicated that the fight is agreed to. An official announcement is expected in the coming weeks.

Marina Rodriguez looks like she wants to become the killer of the UFC‘s social media darlings. Just this year, Rodriguez knocked out Amanda Ribas and then she defeated Michelle Waterson by decision.

Now, she has her sights set on stopping Mackenzie Dern. Rodriguez has incredible striking and very good power for the strawweight division. She looks like she can become a future UFC champion.

So far, she is 4-1-2 in her seven octagon appearances. her lose loss came against Carla Esparza on Fight Island last July by Split Decision. Other than that, she’s been a very tough out in the UFC and she looks to be a big challenge to Mackenzie Dern.

Next UFC women’s star?

Over the last year, Mackenzie Dern has really turned the corner in the UFC. At one point, Dern was looked at as someone with a ton of talent, but she was looked at as someone who lacked the dedication to becoming a star.

All of that talk has been thrown out the window. Dern gave birth to her daughter in 2019 and immediately came back to fight Amanda Ribas. She fell short by decision, but ever since that loss, she’s looked like a different fighter.

Dern has finally been putting it all together and she’s 4-0 with three first round submissions in her last four UFC appearances. Her striking is progressing to go along with her world class skills on the ground.

The way Mackenzie Dern looks now, it’s going to be hard to stop her. This matchup is putting together two of the rising stars in the strawweight division. Whoever wins this matchup looks to be in a great position in terms of the strawweight title.

After impressive victory at UFC Vegas 26, what’s next for Marina Rodriguez?

This past Saturday at UFC Vegas 26, Marina Rodriguez (14-1-2) took on Michelle Waterson (18-9) in the main event. The fight came together on short-notice, but both of these ladies threw down for five minutes.

With a full camp, I really liked Marina Rodriguez in this matchup. She’s much bigger than Waterson with more powerful striking. However, I wasn’t sure how she would hold up under the short-notice circumstances.

Waterson just fought in a short-notice UFC main event back in September. That combined with her grappling ability, I thought she could pickup a decision. However, Marina Rodriguez looked sensational.

The two top ten strawweights both had their moments throughout the fight, but it was clear that Rodriguez was getting the better of the exchanges. Ultimately, all three judges gave the win at UFC Vegas 26 to Marina Rodriguez.

It’s a massive win for Rodriguez who has bounced back strong from her first UFC loss last July. Now, Rodriguez has won two in a row and she’s looking towards the top of the strawweight division.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 26?

After UFC Vegas 26, it’s time for Rodriguez to take the next step up in competition. Having won two fights in a row, Rodriguez is now 4-1-2 in her seven fights inside the octagon. However, she’s looking better every time she steps in there.

So who should the UFC pair her up with? Rodriguez and others have hinted at a potential matchup with former UFC champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk (16-4). Jedrzejczyk is looking to make her comeback soon and a matchup with Rodriguez does make sense given their standing.

Not too mention the fact that it would be an incredibly fun matchup stylistically. Another option that could be out there is Mackenzie Dern (11-1). Dern has been surging having won four fights in a row.

A matchup between Rodriguez and Dern could present the UFC’s strawweight division with a fresh title contender. Either one of these ladies would be a perfect next opponent for Marina Rodriguez.

What’s next for Nina Nunes after her loss at UFC Vegas 23?

This past Saturday at UFC Vegas 23, Nina Nunes (10-7) returned to the octagon for the first time since 2019. Waiting for her was the surging strawweight contender and BJJ world champion, Mackenzie Dern (11-1).

Heading into UFC Vegas 23, the key for Nunes was keeping the fight standing. While Dern has made a ton of improvements in her striking, the general thought was that if the fight was on the feet, Nunes would have the advantage.

I also thought it would be important for Nunes to stay patient. When you’ve been out for a lengthy amount of time, it takes a couple of minutes to get adjusted to being back in the fire. So for Nunes, it was going to be key to not rush things in the cage.

On the flip side, Dern needed to push the pace at UFC Vegas 23. She needed to be in Nunes’ face to not let her get comfortable and that is exactly what she did. Her aggressive nature allowed her to land some good shots and get a takedown in the first round.

Once Dern had the fight on the ground, she was in full control. I will say, I was impressed with how Nunes defended for the majority of the round. However, in the end it didn’t matter. Dern locked up an armbar late in the round and took the victory at UFC Vegas 23.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 23?

As mentioned, this was Nina Nunes’ first fight since mid-2019. After taking last year off to give birth to her daughter, it was a lot to ask of her to take on someone like Mackenzie Dern in her UFC return.

Now that she’s got this first fight under her belt, I think she could get a quality opponent in her second fight back. There is one fight that I’m looking at for her next which seems like a very quality matchup.

For her next bout, I wouldn’t be shocked to see the UFC book her against Tecia Torres (12-5). Torres has won back-to-back fights which has put her tenth in the UFC rankings. Even with the loss, Nunes is seventh. Torres wants a step up in the rankings and Nunes needs a quality opponent. The matchup makes sense.

After submission win at UFC Vegas 23, what’s next for Mackenzie Dern?

This past Saturday at UFC Vegas 23, Mackenzie Dern (11-1) took on the returning Nina Nunes (10-7) on the main card. Nunes was ranked fifth in the division, but she was making her first appearance since 2019 after giving birth to her daughter last year.

Dern on the other hand had fought and won three times in the UFC in 2020. The jiu jitsu world champion was looking to pickup her fourth consecutive win on her march towards a potential shot at the strawweight title.

Over the last year, Dern has spent her time training under Jason Parillo. During that time, we’ve seen incredible improvements in her striking to go along with her world class skills on the ground.

However, she was going to have her toughest striking matchup at UFC Vegas 23. On Saturday night, Dern fought exactly how she needed to fight. With Nunes having been out for so long, Dern immediately pressed the action.

She set a vicious pace early which didn’t allow Nunes the time to get comfortable. Dern chained some big lunging punches into a takedown attempt. After Nunes defended well throughout the round, Dern was able to lockup an armbar and secure her fourth straight UFC victory.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 23?

Make no mistake about it, Mackenzie Dern is looking like she’s going to be a force in the strawweight division. Dern said that her goal was to fight for the UFC title before the end of 2021.

So after another big win, what’s next? Dern made the jump up to fifth in the strawweight rankings after this week’s update. For her next fight, I think there are a couple fights that could make sense for Dern.

The highest profile fight would be against former UFC strawweight champion, Joanna Jedrzejczyk (16-4). Jedrzejczyk has been enjoying life outside the cage, but once fans return, she said she’ll ready to come back.

If Dern wants to fight for the title before the year is over, Jedrzejczyk would be the opponent that could put her in that position. Another matchup the UFC could look at is a matchup with Marina Rodriguez (13-1-2).

Rodriguez is ranked one spot behind Dern in the rankings and she’s coming off of a massive win. She knocked out Amanda Ribas at UFC 257 in January. Ribas is the lone strawweight to have defeated Dern. With that, this matchup with Rodriguez also makes a ton of sense for the promotion.

Mackenzie Dern submits Nina Nunes at UFC Vegas 23

The second fight on the main card of UFC Vegas 23 was a big matchup in the strawweight division. Fifth ranked Nina Nunes (10-6) was making her return against the rising contender, Mackenzie Dern (10-1).

After a lengthy layoff due to having a baby, Mackenzie Dern returned to the UFC in 2019. She looked very rusty and lost a decision to Amanda Ribas. However, she was able to really turn things around in 2020.

Starting in May, Dern was a perfect 3-0 with two submissions in the UFC. She continues to look better and better every time she steps in the cage. Dern was going to need her best stuff today in taking on Nunes.

Nina Nunes was returning from her lengthy layoff after giving birth. We had not seen Nunes in the UFC since June of 2019. That night, Nunes lost a decision to Tatiana Suarez.

However, that loss snapped a four-fight win streak that included victories over Claudia Gadelha, Angela Hill, and Randa Markos. This matchup at UFC Vegas 23 was pivotal for both of these top contenders.

UFC Vegas 23 Recap

Round 1

The UFC Vegas 23 strawweight contest kicked off with a touch of the gloves. Dern pushes forward with a ton of pressure and lands, but Nunes cracked her with a nice counter shot. The two exchange a couple of big shots before Dern forces the clinch against the fence.

Nunes is able to break and they go back to striking. A big leg kick from Mackenzie Dern lands and she follows it with a right hand. After that, Dern shot in and got deep on a single leg. Dern used a trip to successfully land the takedown.

After they were on the ground, Dern started trying to advance position. The Jiu Jitsu world champion was looking for a submission and she was able to advance to the mount position.

After getting to the mount, Dern started throwing big shots and she transitioned to working on the armbar. Nunes was defending well, but eventually Dern was able to lock it in and Nunes taps immediately. Beautiful performance by Mackenzie Dern at UFC Vegas 23.

Mackenzie Dern def. Nina Nunes by Submission (Armbar) – Round 1

UFC Vegas 23 Preview: Mackenzie Dern – Nina Nunes

Tomorrow on the main card of UFC Vegas 23 we are going to see a pretty important matchup in the strawweight division. Top eleven contenders will battle it out as Mackenzie Dern (10-1) takes on the returning Nina Nunes (10-6).

For Nunes, this is her first UFC appearance since giving birth last year. She has not competed inside the octagon since June of 2019 so it’s been almost a two year layoff for the fifth ranked strawweight in the world.

Nunes has had a very interesting tenure in the UFC so far. She made her debut back in 2014 and it didn’t start out well. She lost a decision to Juliana Lima. Then she had a year off before losing another decision to Justine Kish.

Following the back-to-back losses, Nunes had another year in between fights. However, when she returned to the UFC, she looked better than ever. Nunes won four straight which included wins over Angela Hill, Randa Markos, and former title challenger Claudia Gadelha.

The last time we saw Nunes was at UFC 238 where she lost a decision to Tatiana Suarez. It will be interesting to see how Nunes looks in her return after this layoff. Someone who knows all about that kind of a layoff is Mackenzie Dern.

Dern is one of the most hyped strawweights in the UFC. She is one of the best jiu jitsu practitioners in the world and she’s shown that off to the tune of six slick submissions in her career.

Like Nunes, Dern took a year and a half off after having a baby. She lost her first career fight in her UFC return, but since then, she’s been sensational. Since her loss to Amanda Ribas, Dern has gone 3-0.

UFC Vegas 23 Prediction

This is a really tough matchup to predict at UFC Vegas 23 and honestly I would stay away from it if I was a betting man. My biggest question mark is around how Nunes is going to look upon her return.

If both fighters were fresh and active, I really like Nunes. She has the grappling defense to keep this standing and I think everyone would agree that she is better and more fluid on her feet than Mackenzie Dern.

While Dern has made improvements, Nunes is the better striker. However, is Nunes going to be tentative and uncomfortable in her UFC return? Will there be any rust? Dern has won three fights in the last 11 months so we know that she’s ready to go.

I’m incredibly torn on this matchup, but I’m going to lean slightly towards Mackenzie Dern. If Nunes comes out looking like the same fighter she was in the third round against Tatiana Suarez, I think she can easily win this fight.

However, there are just too many questions around her UFC return. With Mackenzie Dern, this fight only needs to hit the mat once for her to find a submission. When she has that ace in the bag and factoring in how active she’s been, it’s hard to pick against.

Prediction: Mackenzie Dern by Unanimous Decision