The Octagon debut of jiu-jitsu prodigy Mackenzie Dern may not have ended with a finish last night (Sat., Mar. 3, 2018) at UFC 222 from inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, but she still edged out game strawweight Ashley Yoder to the tune of a split decision.
Despite her sensational ground game, Dern didn’t try to take Yoder down all that much. Instead, the blue chip prospect opted to throw absolute bombs and pressure Yoder on the feet. Yoder responded well with timely straight left hands and good counter attacks, but ultimately lost a close decision as Dern aggressively closed out the third round by nearly sinking in a rear-naked choke.
Check out the full fight video highlights above courtesy of UFC.
With this performance, Dern makes good on her UFC debut and remains undefeated professionally at 6-0. Dern obviously has some work to do, but she didn’t even really have to rely on her grappling to get past Yoder at UFC 222. As long as Dern can work on her takedowns and lean on her power striking when she’s behind in a fight, she could quickly move up the 115-pound ladder and enter 2019 as a dark-horse title contender.
For complete UFC 222 results and coverage click here.