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UFC 222’s Mackenzie Dern isn’t interested in being known as ‘next Ronda Rousey’

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Coming into her UFC debut at UFC 222, Dern wants to step out of the shadow of Ronda Rousey and blaze her own path forward.

mackenzie dern

Mackenzie Dern is used to getting recognized in the Brazilian jiu-jitsu community, but in the mixed martial arts (MMA) world she continues to be referred to as, “The Next Ronda Rousey.” That’s a pretty flattering comparison ... Rousey was unstoppable during her initial run through Strikeforce and UFC. Now Dern is coming in, and people are placing just as much stock in her overall Brazilian jiu-jitsu game as they did in Rousey’s armbar.

But, leading up to her Octagon debut at UFC 222 this Saturday night (March 3, 2018), Dern is looking to separate herself from the constant Rousey comparisons and establish herself in her own right.

”For sure it’s flattering that when they see me they remember her, that they can see me as her when she was fighting and everything,” Dern told TMZ Sports. “But, at the same time, to be another Ronda Rousey, it’s like for sure she’s done so much for the sport, and me like personally I hope I can do at least as much if not more for women’s MMA that she’s done, that’s a big inspiration.”

”But we are two different people, different personalities, different histories, different obstacles we were facing, when she came into the UFC and now that I’m in the UFC. So I think the biggest thing is it’s a new era, you know? A new generation. So I think it’s nice that people think that, but man, I’m not like the next Ronda Rousey. I’m the new Mackenzie!”

The new Mackenzie is someone who isn’t content to just ride her world class Brazilian jiu-jitsu skills as far as they’ll take her. She wants to round out her game and get all her fighting to that level.

”I came in here to be the best MMA fighter possible,” she finished. “So if I can be like known in the future for being an all around good MMA fighter and not just at jiu-jitsu, I’ll be like, ‘Mission accomplished!’”

Dern faces The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 23 veteran Ashley Yoder, who is winless (0-2) in UFC after a 5-1 run outside the organization. The women’s Strawweight fight goes down this weekend at UFC 222, headlining the “Prelims” undercard that will air on FOX Sports 1 just before the pay-per-view (PPV) main card begins at 10 p.m. ET from inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.