The Best Of Mackenzie Dern

UFC News

Riding a two-fight win streak, Dern looked her best ahead of her UFC 256 bout against Virna Jandiroba. Unlike most of her bouts up until that point, Dern showcased a well-rounded striking game, while being unsuccessful on all five of her takedown attempts.

Through the first five minutes, Dern was slightly more effective in volume and damage than her opponent. But in the second round, Dern faced real adversity for the first time in her career. Attempting a body kick, Jandiroba’s connected with a knee to Dern’s nose that appeared to break it while opening a cut that poured into Dern’s eyes after Jandiroba’s ensuing takedown.

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Between rounds, Dern’s corner assured her that her nose was fine, even though it wasn’t, and to put it all on the line in the third round. Seemingly even heading into the final five minutes, the fight was there for the taking. Despite the injury, Dern marched forward, unafraid to stand and strike for the remainder of the bout.

Two minutes gone in the third, Dern landed the biggest punch of the night – a right that wobbled Jandiroba back up against the cage. The two slugged it out for the remainder of the fight, with Dern securing the unanimous decision victory on the scorecards.

The 2016 jiu-jitsu world champion was already known for exceptional grappling talent, but this fight showed that Dern could stand for 15 minutes and hold her own against a ranked strawweight contender.

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