In this three-part series, I will choose my top UFC women’s fighters of 2020, looking back over what they have achieved during the year. I will detail their fights and performances and explain why, in my opinion, they excelled during 2020.
2nd: Mackenzie Dern
2020: 3-0 – two submissions, one unanimous decision. Two Performance of the Night (POTN) bonuses. Now 5-1 in the UFC, 10-1 overall.
Age 27. Brazilian-American. Background in Brazilian jiu-jitsu (black belt). #11 UFC strawweight.
1: May – defeated Hannah Cifers by submission due to a kneebar at 2:36 of the first round on the main card, earning herself a POTN bonus. In securing the kneebar, Dern became the first woman to finish a fight by any leg lock in UFC history.
2: September – defeated Randa Markos by submission due to an armbar at 3:44 of round one on the main card, earning herself another POTN bonus. This was only the second time Markos had been stopped in her twenty professional fights and meant that Dern became the joint holder of the UFC record for most submission wins in strawweight history with three (along with Cynthia Calvillo and Rose Namajunas).
3: UFC 256 (December) – defeated Virna Jandiroba by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) on the main card.
After suffering her only professional loss in her last bout of 2019, Dern got back to winning ways in style in 2020, making records and putting in eye-catching performances. Making the 115lbs rankings and finishing fights has put her on the radar of the other challengers in the division and she is now scheduled to face #5 ranked strawweight, and #11 ranked pound-for-pound fighter, Nina Ansaroff on April 10th – a fight that could propel her into being one of the toughest competitors in the division.
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