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Mackenzie Dern vs. Hannah Cifers targeted for May 23rd UFC event

UFC Fight Night Joanna v Waterson: Weigh-Ins Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC

May is looking like quite the busy month for the UFC, should their plans to return to holding events on May 9th in Florida pan out.

After being forced to ‘stand down’ on holding April 18th’s UFC 249 on tribal lands in California, UFC president Dana White took a short break from the media spotlight but he has not been idle through this time. May 9th was set as the new date for a completely revamped UFC 249 card headlined by Justin Gaethje vs. Tony Ferguson. More recently White revealed the UFC will be cramming at least three more UFC events into the month: on May 13th, May 16th, and May 23rd.

Events on the 9th, 13th, and 16th are confirmed to be taking place in Florida at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, the UFC’s apparent new US base of operations until the Nevada State Athletic Commission allows them to return to their APEX facilities in Laas Vegas. The show on the 23rd is so new that we still don’t know where it will be, but we know one of the fights set to sit atop the card.

According to MMA Fighting, Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace Mackenzie Dern will be facing off against Hannah Cifers at the event in a rebooking of a match that was originally set for April 25th before the pandemic hit. Dern is a multiple time IBJJF World and ADCC champion that spent over five years at the top of the competitive women’s jiu-jitsu circuit before bringing her skills into MMA. She currently has a 7-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC record with her only loss coming in her last fight to Amanda Ribas.

That fight saw her return from giving birth in May of 2019 to fight Ribas in October. While Dern looked in phenomenal shape for someone who just had a baby five months earlier, it was also clear she had spent her time away from the Octagon brewing a baby and not leveling up her striking skills. Unable to take Ribas down, Dern got chewed up on the feet and lost a unanimous decision.

Hannah Cifers is 10-4 MMA, 2-2 UFC and a likely underdog in this bout against Dern. While more of a brawler than a technician, she held her own on the feet against a surging Angela Lee until getting taken down and quickly mounted for a TKO finish by elbows. Without a long striking game to keep Dern on the outside or the takedown defense needed to avoid the ground game, it’ll be a tough test for Cifers.

Of course, this fight isn’t official yet and that’s especially important to note these days as the UFC continues to frantically rearrange their schedule. Sometimes important aspects of matchmaking like, say, actually calling the fighters and letting them know what’s going on, falls by the wayside in these busy times. So as with everything during the Coronavirus situation, this match is subject to change at a moment’s notice.

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