Marina Rodriguez went to the ground with Mackenzie Dern and lived to tell the tale at UFC Vegas 39 on Saturday night. The No. 6 ranked strawweight extended her win streak to three in a row with a unanimous decision win over Dern.
Dern and Rodriguez exchanged leg kicks throughout the beginning of the first round. Dern would eventually shoot in on a takedown attempt and had Rodriguez tied up along the fence. Rodriguez awkwardly twisted the body of Dern to avoid getting taken down, which she was successful at doing as she spun out of the hold and returned to the center of the Octagon. Rodriguez kicked Dern in the chest a few times and found a home for two right hands before the horn signifying the end of the round sounded.
The second round began with Dern immediately going for another takedown, but Rodriguez was able to quickly separate herself from her opponent. Dern was unperturbed and shot in again, this time getting Rodriguez into a dangerous position as she attacked her leg with a leglock. Rodriguez started to get outworked on the ground by Dern, who continued to look for submission opportunities. Rodriguez nearly got one of her own as she wrapped up what appeared to be a D’Arce choke from the bottom, but could not get. Dern responded with a straight armlock using just her legs and was content with keeping Rodriguez grounded until the end of the round.
The third and fourth rounds saw Rodriguez in true form. She landed the cleaner, crisper strikes and kept the pressure up against Dern. The fifth round was much of the same and it was clear that Dern would need another big moment to get the win. She definitely tried to get one, but Rodriguez thwarted much of Dern’s final attempts and went on to earn a unanimous decision.
Here are some video highlights of Dern vs. Rodriguez: