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

UFC books Mackenzie Dern – Nina Ansaroff

The UFC is in the process of finalizing a pivotal matchup for the strawweight division. Per ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, the promotion is currently finalizing a matchup between Mackenzie Dern (10-1) and Nina Ansaroff (10-6).

The fight is expected to take place on April 10th. The fight has not been signed just yet, but the agreements are in place. This will be the first UFC fight for Ansaroff since she gave birth to her daughter in September.

Ansaroff, the wife of two-division UFC champion, Amanda Nunes, is currently ranked fifth in the strawweight division. Prior to her leave of absence in the division to have her daughter, she had gone 4-1 in her last five fights.

Ansaroff really appeared to have turned the corner in her UFC career. She just ran into some trouble against Tatiana Suarez in her last outing. Prior to that she picked up UFC wins over Claudia Gadelha, Randa Markos, and Angela Hill.

Ranked UFC strawweights go head-to-head

Mackenzie Dern is coming in at 11th in the UFC‘s strawweight division. Dern just picked up her third straight victory back at UFC 256 when she defeated Virna Jandiroba. The matchup of grapplers allowed us to see the progression of Dern’s striking.

Dern is much improved on the feet, however, there is still a lot of room to grow in her striking. What she’s known for his her world class skills on the ground. She’s arguably the best jiu jitsu practitioner man or woman inside the UFC.

Getting to fight someone in the UFC’s top five is a big step up for Dern. Nina Ansaroff is not going to be an easy out for the jiu jitsu ace. Whoever wins this fight will position themselves very nicely in the strawweight division.

I would venture to say that the winner would only be one or two fights away from a UFC title shot. This should be a fantastic matchup when it goes down on April 10th.

UFC Vegas 11 Recap: Colby Covington dominates Tyron Woodley

UFC, Colby Covington

Tonight, the UFC hosted their final fight night in the US before they head over to Fight Island for the next five weeks. This was arguably the most anticipated ESPN card of the summer with such a heated main event.

In the main event of the evening, welterweight rivals Colby Covington (15-2) and Tyron Woodley (19-5-1) finally fought. UFC Vegas 11 delivered an incredible night of fights so let’s dive into the recap of the main card.

Colby Covington dominates Tyron Woodley

The main event of the evening featured arguably the biggest grudge match of the year. Former champions, Colby Covington and Tyron Woodley stepped into the octagon to finally fight. The two top UFC welterweights have been begging for this fight for years.

As the UFC Vegas 11 main event got underway, Woodley immediately pushed forward. Covington seemed really patient to get things going. Both men exchanged leg kicks in the opening minute. Woodley went for a big right, and Covington immediately took Woodley down.

Covington started going to work with the ground and pound. Woodley worked his way back to the fence and used it to get back to his feet. Woodley was able to separate with three minutes left in the round. Covington continued to press forward pressuring Woodley.

Woodley landed a really good right body shot, but Covington countered with a big body kick. Covington landed a big right hand that he used to get back to a clinch. He did a really good job of landing good elbows in the clinch. Very good first round for Covington.

As the second round started, the former UFC interim champion started the pressure again. Woodley tried to throw some big shots, but nothing major came close early. Covington pushed Woodley back to the fence with shots, and immediately started to work from the clinch.

The two men separated, but Covington immediately pushed forward. Covington landed another body kick, but Woodley timed a good takedown. Woodley threatened with a guillotine as Covington defended, but it wouldn’t stick. Covington worked his way back to his feet.

Covington again looked to press Woodley back against the fence. The two men clinched again, and Covington pushed Woodley back to the fence. After they separated, Covington pushed forward with more pressure. Woodley was more active in round two, but it’s still a round for Covington.

The third round got underway with more Covington pressure. Woodley did seem pretty fresh, but an eye poke immediately paused the action. After the action resumed Woodley looked to press forward with big shots. Nothing hit the target and Covington countered with kicks.

Covington did a good job of keeping his hands up. Woodley pushed forward with big shots again, but Covington clinched him and pushed him against the fence. Covington did a really good job of landing some elbows in the clinch.

Woodley could not get off the fence as Covington’s pressure was very heavy. He tried to explode a few times, but Covington just pushed him back. Much less action in the third round, but its’ still a round that should be scored for Colby Covington.

As we entered the main event rounds, Covington continued to push forward with pressure. Covington landed a big headkick as he pushed Woodley back. Woodley landed a few really nice body kicks before Covington shot in and pushed him back against the fence.

Covington finally got the takedown and pushed Woodley to the ground. Woodley started looking a little fatigued from his back. Covington began to work the ground and pound with punches and elbows.

A big elbow bloodied the eye of Tyron Woodley. Covington was really coming on strong with the ground and pound in the fourth round. Covington’s pressure and shots were very heavy in the fourth round. Dominant fourth round for the former interim UFC welterweight champion.

As the final round got underway, Woodley was bouncing on his feet, but Covington backed him right up to the fence. Covington shot in and got another takedown. As Covington started working his top control something happened to Woodley. He winced in pain from his ribs and called for the fight to stop.

An odd finish, but nevertheless, a dominant win for Colby Covington. Covington called out the UFC welterweight champion and UFC’s BMF after the fight was over. A devastating loss for Tyron Woodley who has been dominated in three straight fights.

Eye Pokes lead to a draw in the Co-Main

The co-main event of the evening featured the UFC‘s record holder in virtually every category. Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (36-15, 1 NC) was looking to get back on track after four straight losses. Niko Price (14-4, 1 NC) was the man standing in his way of snapping that skid.

As the fight got underway, Price immediately pushed forward with big shots. Cerrone was getting caught early and often. Price was stunning Cerrone with virtually everything he was throwing. Somehow, Cowboy stayed on his feet through the onslaught.

Cowboy landed a couple of big knees which slowed down Price. The two men engaged in a clinch as the pace slowed significantly. Cerrone looked to be regaining his composure while Price was trying to catch his breath. Cowboy landed a few additional big knees in the clinch.

Cowboy landed a big headkick as the two men broke. Cerrone looked to be more confident until an eye poke slowed his pace. After the fight resumed, Price landed a couple of additional big shots. However, Price caught Cerrone with another eye poke. This one loses him a point. The round should be a 9-9.

As the second round got underway, Price continued to push forward. The two men seemed a little more tactical to start the second round. Price landed a big body shot that backed Cerrone told the fence. Cerrone was looking to work the leg kicks as Price worked the jab.

Cowboy landed a big combination that seemed to get Price’s attention. Cerrone really started to find a rhythm with jab in the second. Price seemed more content to counter strike while Cerrone was throwing more combinations.

Halfway through the round, Price started picking up the pace again. Cowboy found himself against the fence and Price really started to throw some serious heat. Price started to pull away with the striking numbers late in the second round. Very close second round that I slightly lean towards Price.

The final round got underway with both men embracing. Price got the action started with some heavy leg kicks. Again, Price was pushing Cerrone back to the fence. Cerrone timed a nice takedown and briefly had Price’s back, but Price got right back to his feet.

The two men then started striking from distance. Cowboy was doing a really decent job of finishing combinations with kicks, but Price kept pushing the pace. Halfway through the round, Cowboy timed another really good takedown and got to Price’s back.

However, this time, Cerrone was able to hold onto the back for about 30 seconds. No damage, but significant control time. Both men then resumed the striking contest. These two were just trading, and both were landing good shots.

With one minute left, Cerrone really started to land the better shots. However, Price kept pushing forward. Cerrone was landing cleaner shots with 30 seconds left. Both men exchanged massive combinations near the end. I gave the final round to Cerrone which makes the fight a draw. The judges agreed scoring the fight a draw (29-27, 28-28, 28-28).

Khamzat Chimaev’s UFC hype train continues

The biggest prospect in the UFC took center stage tonight. Khamzat Chimaev (8-0) was looking to continue to ride the incredible momentum that he gained over the summer. Veteran Gerald Meerschaert (31-13) was looking to derail the hype train.

As the fight got underway, Chimaev could not stop smiling at Meerschaert. Chimaev pushed forward with kicks and pressure. Meerschaert was pressed back to the fence and Chimaev lands one massive right that puts Meerschaert out cold. The Chimaev UFC hype train just went to the next level.

Johnny Walker finishes Ryan Spann in the first

The third fight on the UFC Vegas 11 main card featured a light heavyweight contest between Johnny Walker (18-5) and Ryan Spann (18-6). Spann was looking to remain unbeaten in the UFC while Walker was looking to get back to his old form after two straight losses.

As the first round started, Johnny Walker immediately landed a massive leg kick and followed it with a shot that wobbled Spann. After seeming rocked for a second, Spann shot in and landed a takedown. Walker worked his way back up to his feet, but Spann pressed him against the fence.

Walker was able to break the clinch, but Spann dropped Walker with a massive shot. Spann followed up with some big shots, but Walker regained his composure. Spann dropped him again briefly, but then shot in for a takedown.

In close quarters, Walker started landing massive shots to the side of Spann’s head. Spann seemed rock from the shots, but kept trying for a takedown. Walker landed a massive elbow that crumbled Spann. The ref called a stop to the action, and Walker got back in the UFC win column with a TKO.

Dern’s Jiu Jitsu too much for Randa Markos

The second fight that was live on the UFC Vegas 11 main card was a strawweight contest between jiu jitsu world champion, Mackenzie Dern (9-1), and veteran, Randa Markos (10-9-1). Dern was looking to make it two in a row on her climb in the strawweight division.

As the first round started, both ladies immediately had a big exchange. Dern slipped trying to throw a head kick and landed on her back. Shockingly, Markos followed her to the ground and almost found herself in a triangle.

Dern was really showing off her elite grappling skills. She was able to transition her triangle attempt into having top control. After landing some solid elbows, Dern moved to attacking an armbar. She was able to lock it in, and Markos was forced to tap. Another impressive display and UFC win for Mackenzie Dern.

UFC Vegas 11 final takeaways

UFC Vegas 11 delivered with some excellent fights. Of course one of the big stories of the evening has to be Khamzat Chimaev who decimated Gerald Meerschaert in the first round. Of course the main event was a one sided beating from Colby Covington.

Now, the UFC makes their way to Fight Island for an insane five weeks of fights. It’s going to be fun, and fans should be excited.

UFC Vegas 11 Preview: Colby Covington and Tyron Woodley finally meet

UFC, Colby Covington

Tomorrow night, the UFC will host their final event in the US before packing up and leaving for for Fight Island for the next five weeks. In the main event, we have a fight that has been years in the making and it has a ton of heat.

Former UFC welterweight champion, Tyron Woodley (19-5-1), and former interim champion, Colby Covington (15-2), will finally meet. The entire card is fantastic so let’s dive into the main card for previews and predictions.

Former UFC Champions Finally Fight

Tomorrow night is a big night in the UFC‘s welterweight division. The main event of the evening pairs two former champions and two top five contenders against each other. There’s not one fighter who has more on the line than Tyron Woodley.

Yes, nobody can take away what Woodley has done, but if he loses convincingly for a third time in a row, it might be time to hang it up. When the calendar turned to 2019 last year, many wondered who could beat Tyron Woodley.

The champion was dominant. He had brutal power in his hands, and fantastic wrestling. He used those tools to get to the top. However, his last two fights have seen a tentative Woodley who was outworked and outclassed by Gilbert Burns and Kamaru Usman.

Standing across from Woodley will be Colby Covington. One of the more polarizing figures in the sport, but also one of the best fighters in the world. Covington rose to the top of the welterweight division with his world class talent, and effective use of the microphone.

Starting in 2016, Covington went on a seven fight winning streak where he was not only undefeated but nobody really challenged him. Covington puts on a pace that many fighters just can’t keep up with. Last December at UFC 245, Covington took on Kamaru Usman.

The fight was razor close. I had the fight 2-2 going into the fifth round, but one judge had Covington up 3-1. He went on to lose by TKO, but he showed great striking and very solid overall skills in that contest. A rematch between those two could very much be in the cards.

As for this fight, Covington poses massive problems for Woodley. Woodley has really struggled with guys who push the pace and come at him heavy. Well, Covington is going to do the exact same thing. Covington is going to push forward with good striking and a pace that’ll be tough to keep up with.

The only path to victory that I see for Woodley in this fight is first round KO/TKO. If this fight gets into the second or third rounds, I think you’ll see Covington really start to cruise. I just don’t see Woodley getting the better of Covington in this one.

Prediction: Colby Covington by Unanimous Decision

Donald Cerrone vs Niko Price

The co-main event of the evening features a fantastic matchup in the UFC‘s welterweight division. Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (36-15, 1 NC) takes on Niko Price (14-4, 1 NC) in a fight that promises to deliver. Many are saying this could be fight of the night.

Over the past two years, it’s pretty clear what’s going to happen in a Niko Price fight. He’s either going to knock you out or he’s going to get knocked out trying. He’s 3-3 in his last six with all fights getting stopped by TKO or KO.

Price has been in the UFC for a while and put together a pretty nice resume. He holds wins over Alan Jouban, Randy Brown, Tim Means, and James VIck. The one knock on Price over the last couple of years has been his inconsistency as he tries to climb the ranks.

What is there to be said that hasn’t been said about Donald Cerrone. Cowboy holds virtually every record there is to hold in the UFC and he’s making the walk again. This time he’s trying to snap a four fight losing streak inside the octagon.

Now, those four fights have all come against former champions. Prior to the losing streak, many thought Cerrone was going to get another crack at the title. Cowboy has great skills on the feet and on the ground which is why he holds the finishes record.

I think that we are going to see a fight that primarily stays on the feet. While Price has looked really good on his feet over his last few fights, I think Cowboy has a little more technical skill to get it done. I’m expecting a war, and in the end, I’m taking Cowboy.

Prediction: Cowboy Cerrone by Unanimous Decision

Khamzat Chimaev vs Gerald Meerschaert

The third fight on the main card features the UFC‘s new budding star, Khamzat Chimaev (8-0). Chimeav came out of no where over the summer, but with two dominant victories on Fight Island in just 10 days, the MMA world fell in love with him.

Taking on Chimaev is going to be veteran Gerald Meerschaert (31-13). One has to wonder just how much the disrespect is getting to Meerschaert. The UFC has already booked Chimaev to fight on Fight Island, and the fight with Meerschaert hasn’t even taken place.

Meerschaert is fantastic on the ground holding 23 professional wins by submission. He is by no means a cupcake opponent for anyone. While he hasn’t defeated any top guys, his losses have come against guys like Thiago Santos, Ian Heinisch, and Jack Hermansson.

Chimaev would remind you of a bigger version of Khabib Nurmagomedov. All he wants to do is slam his opponent to the ground and smash their face in. However, I think we might see a little different strategy at first with Chimaev.

I’ve seen a lot of footage of Chimaev’s striking, and it’s actually very good. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Chimaev look to strike a bit. However, eventually he’s going to want to take this down. While Meerschaert is really good on the ground, I think the storm of top pressure and shots are going to be too much.

Prediction: Khamzat Chimaev by TKO – Round 2

Johnny Walker vs Ryan Spann

In the second fight on the main card, we have a matchup in the UFC‘s light heavyweight division between Johnny Walker (17-5) and Ryan Spann (18-5). Walker is another case of how quickly the tide can change in a UFC career.

At this point a year ago, Walker was one of the top prospects in the division. His flashy style combined with his power and size made him look like a future champion. However, Corey Anderson put a halt to that at UFC 244.

Walker was finished in the first round. Then in his return fight, Walker lost to Nikita Krylov back in March. In both of those fights, Walker just didn’t look like the same guy. He’s going to look to get back to his powerful finishing style against Spann.

Spann will enter the octagon on Saturday night riding an eight fight winning streak. He made an appearance on the Contender Series back in 2018. and since making his debut, he’s 4-0 inside the UFC. Spann has looked fantastic minus his last outing.

In his last fight, he had a close decision win against Sam Alvey. However, before that he had finishes over Devin Clark and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. Spann is a jack of all trades that will throw finishing strikes and submissions at you.

This fight is very close on paper. I can see both guys winning this fight, and a lot is going to come down to which Johnny Walker we see. If we see the Johnny Walker with swagger, I think he takes it. If not, I think Spann has multiple paths to victory. I’m going on a limb with Walker on this one.

Prediction: Johnny Walker by TKO – Round 1

Mackenzie Dern vs Randa Markos

Kicking off the main card is a good matchup in the UFC‘s strawweight division as Mackenzie Dern (8-1) takes on Randa Markos (10-8-1). Markos is a very seasoned vet who has been in there with some of the best that the division has to offer.

In her tenure, Markos has wins over the likes of Angela Hill and Carla Esparza. Her last three losses have only come against top competition like Amanda Ribas, Claudia Gadelha, and Nina Ansaroff. Markos is a tough out in this division.

She has really good skills on the ground, and she’s got a pressuring striking style that can give Dern problems. A key for this fight is going to be for Markos to keep it standing and strike from distance. That is her path to victory.

There might not be a better grappler in women’s MMA than Mackenzie Dern. She is an absolute wizard on the ground, and she operates like quick sand. Once the fight touches the mat, it’s just inevitable that she’s going to get the win.

Dern is still relatively green in her overall MMA game, but she’s improving with every outing. However, there’s no secret as to what her strategy is on Saturday night. She’s going to look for the takedown and submission to end the fight.

Randa Markos is so tough, but can she keep Mackenzie Dern off of her. That is going to be the question in this one, and I’m just not sure she can. If this fight gets in close quarters, I’m not sure it’s going to last very long despite Markos’ decent grappling skills.

Prediction: Mackenzie Dern by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) – Round 1

UFC Vegas 11 Outlook

This fight card is absolutely fantastic from top to bottom. The UFC is really putting their best foot forward on their final show before the promotion packs their bags for Fight Island. So many storylines and fun fights will fill up the screen on Saturday night.