It looks like a major strawweight matchup between two rising stars is coming up soon.
Dana White told TMZ Sports that BJJ sensation Mackenzie Dern will be fighting dangerous striker Marina Rodriguez next. He didn’t specify the date or venue but that this fight has been made.
“She does have a fight coming up,” White said. “I was just talking about her this morning. We haven’t announced it, I’m sure, but I’ll give it to you, anyway. Hopefully, it’s done. My people hate when I do this. She’s taking on Marina Rodriguez next, which is a great fight.”
Dern (11-1) is on a four-fight winning streak, most recently submitting Nina Nunes with relative ease last month in Las Vegas. The decorated submission specialist has also tapped out Randa Markos and Hannah Cifers during her current winning run, while going the distance with Virna Jandiroba. Only Amanda Ribas has bested Dern in her MMA career, and she’s looked considerably better since then.
Rodriguez (14-1-2) dispatched Michelle Waterson in a five-round main event earlier this month, having accepted the bout on short notice and at flyweight. It may sound lame to say that this was a strawweight fight minus the weight cut but it might as well have been just that. Her only loss came against presumptive next title challenger Carla Esparza, and her 2021 got off to a brilliant start with a knockout of Amanda Ribas.
The current UFC rankings have Dern at #5 and Rodriguez at #6 so this seems like logical matchmaking. Perhaps the key question will be whether or not it’ll be three rounds or five.