Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) strawweight submission specialist Mackenzie Dern has now won three in a row and five of her last six, improving her professional mixed martial arts (MMA) record to 10-1 with six finishes, including three inside the Octagon.
Naturally, fans have already started comparing her to the now-retired Ronda Rousey, a record-breaking judoka and former bantamweight champion who racked up eight straight armbar submissions to kick off her pro career.
“That started when I started with my knockdown of Amanda Cooper, I knocked her down then got the submission, I started kinda building my own style,” Dern said at the UFC 256 post-fight press conference (watch it here). “Ronda has a great style, aggressive, but I think when I start to get the leg locks I have something different, really different, the jiu-jitsu, these leg locks from the bottom, where people think you’re losing.”
Dern, 27, is fresh off her unanimous decision victory over Virna Jandiroba at the UFC 256 pay-per-view (PPV) event last weekend in Las Vegas, a hard-fought battle that may not have broken any records, but did end up breaking Dern’s nose.
“I kind just set my goal on breaking records,” Dern continued. “Ronda broke records, I’m gonna break more records. I’m just focused on that, one straight line, you know the horse has the [blinders]. It was a pleasure for me that everyone was saying that, but it was pretty easy for me to focus on my own goals and try to be a legend.”
Dern is currently ranked No. 11 at 115 pounds.