Mackenzie Dern is set to headline her first UFC card when she takes on Marina Rodriguez on Oct. 9 card.
In the lead-up to the fight, many think this is a striker vs. grappler matchup and Dern agrees. She believes the Brazilian has a lot of work to do on the ground and Dern is confident she will be able to exploit it.
“I think her ground game has a lot to work on,” Dern told MMA Junkie. “I’ve seen her do a couple of elbows from the bottom, but more when the girl is just holding her on the ground. But I’ve seen her get up and giving her back, so I can imagine her camp is going to be a lot of takedown defense and maybe getting up using the cage to get up. I think her striking is so dangerous, but the ground has a lot to work on.”
Mackenzie Dern says she has been looking at Rodriguez’s last couple of fights and sees a lot of openings. However, she knows the Brazilian is very dangerous on the feet and she can’t overlook that.
Yet, Dern is confident she will not only beat Rodriguez but will submit her in the first round.
“I think it’s going to be a first-round submission again this time,” Dern said. “I definitely think I’ve found my way in MMA, kind of found what works for me. And hey, why would I want to stay too much getting punched in the face, taking all this damage, take more time recovering to get back into training when it’s clear that obviously taking it to the ground (works for me)? The girls are still getting better, the level on the ground, but I need to take advantage. That’s my strength, so I think it’s going to be a first-round submission.”
If Dern defeats Rodriguez on October 9 she will likely get a top-five opponent next and looks to fight her way to a title shot.