Marina Rodriguez is expecting a tough fight against Mackenzie Dern in the main event of UFC Vegas 39 on Saturday.
Rodriguez is coming off a decision win over Michelle Waterson which was her first UFC main event. With this being her second UFC main event, the Brazilian says she’s thrilled with the opportunity.
“Fighting in the UFC alone is already pretty exciting by itself,” Rodriguez said at media day. “But main eventing is a special feeling, not just for everything that surrounds it, but just knowing that the UFC trusts you to put on a show for five rounds makes it even more special and motivates me way more than a regular fight would.”
Against Dern, Rodriguez is well aware that she has to be worried about Dern’s grappling and she knows it will be a tough fight. However, she believes she will be able to frustrate Dern and put on a striking clinic.
“Perfect day, I would get my knockout in the first or second round, but we know it’s a tough fight,” Rodriguez said. “Who knows? My main thing is I’m going to have to be able to put her in my game and not being able to let her do what she wants. I’ll just frustrate her and put on a striking clinic, or maybe win a five-round fight.”
If Marina Rodriguez defeats Mackenzie Dern impressively on Saturday, she believes she could earn a title shot.
“If I win in an impressive manner, I believe I can climb as high as No. 3,” Rodriguez said. “Inactive fighters like Joanna Jedrzejczyk should be dropped from the rankings. I’ll be eagerly awaiting the results of Rose Namajunas against Weili Zhang. Since Carla Esparza is ranked above me, she probably deserves to fight for the belt first. I’d love to rematch against her, but it would be even better if the belt was on the line. It would be a perfect story. Of course, if Carla is not available to face the winner of Rose vs. Weili, I’ll gladly take that spot.”