A potential women’s strawweight clash between rising contenders Mackenzie Dern and Marina Rodriguez is currently in the works.
UFC president Dana White spilled the beans to TMZ Sports earlier this week and revealed that Dern is going to fight Rodriguez next. White didn’t have too many details but did acknowledge the matchup is close to “done.”
“She does have a fight coming up,” said White. “I was just talking about her this morning. We haven’t announced it, I’m sure, but I’ll give it to you, anyway. Hopefully, it’s done. My people hate when I do this. She’s taking on Marina Rodriguez next, which is a great fight.”
Dern, 28, is coming off an impressive submission win over Nina Ansaroff back in April to push her current win streak to four. The BJJ prodigy improved her overall UFC record to 6-1 with the victory and is now tied for the most submission wins in UFC women’s history with four. Dern was always expected to fight for the women’s strawweight title when she made her debut back in 2018 and a win over Rodriguez later this year could certainly get her there.
“Since she had a baby, she’s come back and looked like she has been reborn again,” White said of Dern. “She is a whole different fighter, physically, emotionally, mentally, technically, everything. She is completely changed.”
Rodriguez, 34, is coming off a spectacular main event debut against Michelle Waterson earlier this month to earn a unanimous decision win and push her UFC record to 4-1-2. The Brazilian contender has been matched up with the best in the division since her debut back in 2018 and has looked better each and every time she’s stepped inside of the Octagon. Rodriguez’s TKO finish over Amanda Ribas at UFC 257 this past January remains the biggest win of her career thus far.
What say you, fight fans? Who wins this matchup of surging strawweight contenders? Does the winner get a crack at current UFC champion Valentina Shevchenko?
Let us know in the comments below!