Mackenzie Dern

USA

Expected to face Nina Ansaroff
StrawweightUFC
December 21, 2020
Dern is expected to take on Nina Ansaroff on April 10, Brett Okamoto of ESPN reports.
ANALYSIS
The matchup hasn't been officially signed, but both sides reportedly like the arrangement, so it sounds as if it's set to go forward. Dern is riding a three-fight winning streak, winning a pair of first-round submissions before requiring the full three rounds to defeat Virna Jandiroba by unanimous decision in December. Ansaroff hasn't won a fight since 2018, as she lost by unanimous decision against Tatiana Suarez in her only 2019 fight before taking time off for the birth of her daughter.
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Wins unexpected brawl
StrawweightUFC
December 12, 2020
Dern defeated Virna Jandiroba via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) at UFC 256 on Saturday in Las Vegas.
ANALYSIS
Of course, a battle between two of the UFC's most talented mat specialists quickly turned into an all-out brawl. Dern got the better of it, but it didn't come easily. Both women looked awkward and uncomfortable when forced to spend an extended time on the feet, and that was painfully evident here. Dern and Jandiroba spent the vast majority of the bout flinging wild haymakers at each other. Dern landed the more powerful shots but also ate a knee to the face that busted her nose in the process. It was nice to see Dern win something other than a ground battle, but it's difficult to imagine her getting where she wants to go in the women's strawweight division on the strength of anything other than her submission game. The 27-year-old has won three in a row and improves to 4-1 with the UFC.
Set to face Virna Jandiroba
StrawweightUFC
October 9, 2020
Dern will take on Virna Jandiroba at UFC 256 in Las Vegas on Dec. 12, MMAJunkie.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Both fighters have lost once with the UFC, their only professional losses, with Dern winning three matches and Jandiroba winning two. Both are also coming off two-fight winning streaks. Dern defeated Hannah Cifers in May and Randa markos in September, both via first-round submissions.
Easily submits Randa Markos
StrawweightUFC
September 19, 2020
Dern defeated Randa Markos via submission (armbar) at 3:44 of Round 1 at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Las Vegas.
ANALYSIS
Dern is a below-average striker, but she is arguably the most talented submission specialist in all of women's mixed martial arts these days, and that skill set will allow her to blow the doors off her competition whenever they are foolish enough to engage her in a ground battle (as Markos did Saturday). Dern is still just 27 years of age, so there is hope she can improve her stand-up over time. She is so good on the mat that she would become a legitimate title contender if she is able to eventually get to just solid-average on the feet. Life is great in the meantime, however, as Dern will walk away with a $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus for her efforts.
Meeting Markos at UFC 253
StrawweightUFC
July 9, 2020
Dern (8-1-0) is slated to face Randa Markos (10-8-1) in a strawweight fight Sept. 19 at UFC 253, Steven Marrocco and Guilherme Cruz of MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
A location has yet to be set for UFC 253, though the event is expected to take place in Las Vegas. Dern returns to the Octagon just under two months after earning her third promotional win May 30, when she defeated Hannah Cifers via submission in Las Vegas.
Racks up submission victory
StrawweightUFC
May 30, 2020
Dern defeated Hannah Cifers via submission (Kneebar) at 2:36 of Round 1 at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Las Vegas.
ANALYSIS
This is why so many people remain high on Dern despite her clear shortcomings. Dern's striking game could charitably be called a work in progress, but she's legitimately one of the world's most gifted mat specialists. Cifers was getting the better of the stand-up in the early going before she recklessly exposed her leg and allowed Dern to clamp on the kneebar that ended the fight. Dern is a multi-time World BJJ champion and every single opponent she faces needs to avoid ground exchanges with her at all costs. Cifers didn't do that, and she paid for it. Dern, who turned 27 years old this past March, is young enough to improve the other areas of her game. She'll also take home an extra $50,000 for this one in the form of a Performance of the Night bonus.