Marina Rodriguez and Mackenzie Dern clashed tonight (Sat., Oct. 9, 2021) in a main event clash from inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, at UFC Vegas 39. Rodriguez is a nasty striker, a Muay Thai specialist who thrives in long exchanges where she can make use of heavy knees and elbows. On the flip side, Dern is quite literally one of the best female grapplers in history, a submission ace who is absolutely lethal on the mat. Both women rode solid win streaks into the contest. In short, tonight’s main event was an excellent style clash with significant title implications — that’s what it’s all about!
At the end of the night, only one woman could take a step closer to Strawweight gold. Follow along below for live updates and highlight clips:
Rodriguez lands some early pokes with her kicks, while Dern’s own low kicks are coming up short. Dern tries to bull rush into a takedown, but it isn’t there. Slow going through the first half of the round. Dern crashes forward with a right hand and secures the clinch. Rodriguez defends well, stopping Dern from getting deep on any shot. Rodriguez breaks free and lands a right. Clean body kick from the striker, followed by a right to the bread basket. Dern scores a jab but eats the counter 1-2. Dern lands a spinning back fist but eats a knee in the final exchange of the round. 10-9 Rodriguez
Dern immediately pushes into the clinch to start the second, but nothing materializes for her. Dern lands a couple right hands and tries again. This time, she’s able to pull guard and wrap up a leg, quickly reversing position. Rodriguez attacks a d’arce from her back, and she actually has good position! Unsurprisingly, Dern frees herself from the choke. Immediately, Dern jumps into the crucifix position. Dern tries to armbar the trapped arm before taking the back instead. Rodriguez gives up mount, and Dern starts landing punches from high up in the armpits. Rodriguez survives the round. 10-8 Dern
Rodriguez stalks to begin the third, lands a low kick and right hand. She’s swinging hard. Rodriguez lands a glancing high kick on the break — she’s picking at Dern well. Dern is really having trouble closing the distance or landing at all. Dern pushes forward to clinch and eats a couple counters. Rodriguez digs a punch to the body and puts a combination together. Finally, Dern secures a clinch, but she’s unable to do anything with it before the bell. Instead, Rodriguez lands some good shots while defending. 10-9 Rodriguez
Big right hand land from Rodriguez right away. Rodriguez is flowing, while Dern looks pretty tired/discouraged. Heavy kicks landing for Rodriguez. Solid knee scores from Rodriguez on the outside, then a slick spin kick! Dern’s latest double leg shot fails, but she does score with a right on the break. Heavy right snaps Dern’s head back. The damage is starting to really add up for Rodriguez, who is landing to all targets. Another hard knee backs Dern off her clinch attempt. Rodriguez flurries, lands with an elbow. The striker is in complete control. Dern does another weird guard pull and flips her way into top position! There are only 30 seconds left, but Dern is hammering away. Rodriguez holds tight and survives to the bell. 10-9 Rodriguez
Dern is really trying hard to find the clinch right away. Rodriguez stomps the knee and lands a right hand. Once again, Rodriguez is picking her opponent apart from distance and circling to avoid the rushes. Dern nearly catches a kick for the takedown, but Rodriguez is able to frame away. Dern has two minutes to find a takedown. Nasty left hook and overhand land for the striker. Dern secures a clinch with just under a minute remaining. Rodriguez denies the shot and lands on the break — that’s the fight. 10-9 Rodriguez
Result: Marina Rodriguez defeats Mackenzie Dern (49-46, 49-46, 49-46)
For complete UFC Vegas 39: “Dern vs. Rodriguez” results and play-by-play, click HERE!