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Marina Rodriguez happy with ‘near perfect’ 2021 after three wins, eyes title shot next year

UFC strawweight contender Marina Rodriguez hopes to fight for the belt in 2022.

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Marina Rodriguez defeated Mackenzie Dern in October 2021.
Marina Rodriguez defeated Mackenzie Dern in October 2021.
Photo by Louis Grasse/PxImages

UFC women’s strawweight contender Marina Rodriguez is happy to end her 2021 following a unanimous decision win over Mackenzie Dern in October. Now on a three-fight winning streak, the Brazilian hopes to be fighting for the title sometime in 2022.

In an interview with Combate, Rodriguez explained her title aspirations for next year. Although she knows that former champion Carla Esparza should be ahead of her in line, Marina will remain training and ready for any opportunities that may come knocking on her door.

“This year of 2021 was excellent for us,” Rodriguez said. “Three fights and three wins, two of them consecutive main events. It was fantastic and against great opponents. It was a near perfect year for us.”

“Things really are a little complicated as to who’s next for a title shot now,” Marina continued. “I think it’s fair that Carla gets her shot, she’s earned it. Rose has said she wanted to fight her in a rematch, because she lost the first one. In case that fight doesn’t happen, because who decides that is Dana and the UFC, we’ll be training, so we can take the opportunity if it appears. We’re starting this title project for next year and we’ll be waiting for the call.”

In 2021, Rodriguez (15-1-2) picked up wins over Amanda Ribas, Michelle Waterson and the aforementioned Dern. The 34-year-old’s last and sole defeated happened in July 2020, when she dropped a split decision to the division’s inaugural champion in Esparza.