Mackenzie Dern made it two-for-two inside the Octagon last weekend (Sat., May 12, 2018) after she submitted Amanda Cooper in the very first round at UFC 224 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, via rear-naked choke (see it again here). While her impressive performance was somewhat overshadowed by her “shameful” scale fail after coming in seven pounds overweight, the fact remains that Dern proved she is the real deal by showing off some improved striking.
And current Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Strawweight champion Rose Namajunas took notice. Appearing on “UFC Unfiltered” podcast. Rose talked about Dern’s evolution, recent performance and the chances of facing her down the road.
“Other than the weight issue, I thought she looked great. That is something, I’ve always wanted to test my jiu-jitsu against, that would be awesome, I would like to face her. But, she just has together shit together and that may be down the road. She beat Gabi Garcia in a jiu-jitsu match, so that would be awesome. And she can obviously strike a little bit. She has that heavy first step, that a wrestler has sometimes that good right hand. You can tell she has that style developing. So it will be interesting to see if she can fix her issues and maybe she can be a future contender.”
Dern -- who coughed up plenty of dough for missing weight — improved to 7-0, 2-0 UFC, and vowed to get all the help she needs from the experts at UFC’s Performance Institute in Las Vegas, Nevada, to get her weight issues in order. Before getting into mixed martial arts (MMA), Dern made her name in the Brazilian jiu-jitsu circuit, racking up wins left and right all over the world.
Still, she has a long way to go to even be in title consideration, as she has yet to crack the Top 15. As for Namajunas, she will likely defend her title later this year against Jessica Andrade.
What say you, Maniacs, could Dern work herself up to title contention sooner, rather than later?