Mackenzie Dern faces Marina Rodriguez in her first main event this weekend and believes with a statement win, she could be next in line to challenge for gold.
Dern’s threatening submission game is a constant threat she carries into each UFC fight. Of the 28-year-old’s eleven victories, eight have come by submission. The Brazilian grappling ace holds notable wins over Virna Jandiroba and Nina Nunes.
Ahead of her bout with Rodriguez at UFC Vegas 39, Dern spoke with Just Scrap Radio on BJPENN.com and shared how she will approach her upcoming fight. The strawweight is hoping to secure her first TKO victory under the UFC banner.
“I definitely know the way to win is to get it to the ground. If I can get it there hopefully I can get a submission or a TKO,” Dern said. “The plan is to take it to the ground and I have 25 minutes to do that, so that’s a goal… I think I need one more submission to have the most submissions in the women’s division. But, I have never had a TKO before, so maybe I try for that.”
The #4-ranked strawweight will be fighting to keep her spot among a busy division packed to the brim with contenders. Dern understands that it only takes one great performance to leapfrog a contender like Carla Esparza. Last month, Dern claimed Esparza was offered a fight with her but turned it down.
“Just with the UFC, if you say no or hold out you can get skipped and passed by. I think if I have a great performance, almost flawless I can go straight to the belt. I do want to get the belt. But, if I see some things I need to work on, then I wouldn’t mind having another fight before the belt,” Dern concluded.
With an understanding that the UFC moves on rather quickly with fights, the grappling ace is ready to capitalize on her first main event. Dern is fixated on fighting for a title if she defeats Rodriguez. The rising strawweight contender concedes that if she encounters problems that need attention, she would not object to taking another fight in the meantime to fix those issues.
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