Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women’s Strawweight super prospect, Mackenzie Dern, didn’t do herself any popularity favors this weekend, blowing up the scale and coming in seven pounds over the division limit for her fight tonight (Sat., May 12, 2018) against Amanda Cooper at UFC 224, which took place inside Jeuness Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Dern claimed she “did her best” to hit the 116-pound mark, but Cooper was furious about the ridiculous scale fail. And she promised to make Dern pay inside the Octagon for her lack of professionalism. Unfortunately for her, Dern had other plans, submitting Cooper via rear-naked choke less than three minutes into the opening round.
Cooper’s gameplan was clear: Remain upright. Dern — at least in the early going — was more than willing to stand and trade leather, even clipping Cooper with a nice left hook early. Cooper fired back with a nice one-two combination, which she followed with a kick to the body. Then the wheels fell off ... fast. Midway through the opening round, Dern drilled Cooper with a hard overhand right that dropped her immediately. Dern swarmed and began to unload ground-and-pound as her opponent was floored, dazed and likely confused. Cooper rolled to her belly to escape the punishment, which is the worst possible defense against a finisher like Dern. She snuck her forearm under her chin and ratcheted down until Cooper turned purple. The referee called off Dern before Cooper went down for an early nap.
Wow ... that was quite the performance from Dern. She didn’t attempt a single takedown and beat her fired up opponent at her own striking game in just her seventh professional mixed martial arts (MMA) bout. And she did it despite a major fight week gaffe that very well could have derailed even the most experienced fighter. Hopefully, she can get that straightened out moving forward.
For complete UFC 224: “Nunes vs. Pennington” results, including play-by-play updates, click here.