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Marina Rodriguez explains why she declined a top contender bout against Mackenzie Dern

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Strawweight contender Marina Rodriguez wants more time to prepare before she can enter the Octagon again.

Marina Rodriguez turned down a fight against Mackenzie Dern.
Marina Rodriguez turned down a fight against Mackenzie Dern.
Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

UFC strawweight contender Marina Rodriguez is done taking fights on short notice for a while.

Recently offered to take on rising star Mackenzie Dern in July, the Brazilian felt like there was not enough to prepare, since she had just faced Michelle Waterson on May 8. After taking on both Waterson and Amanda Ribas on short notice, Rodriguez now wants a full camp for her next bout.

In an interview with Ag Fight, Marina explained that a match in July would be too soon for herself.

“The UFC offered us Mackenzie in July, but we had already told them we wanted to fight in September or October. Now that I know she wants to fight sooner, I believe our fight may not even happen now. After taking a fight on a 11-day notice. we talked to my coach and we decided to make a full preparation for our next fight. We know we are getting closer to the belt and we don’t want to miss that opportunity when it comes.”

“This year, we’re going to train as if we’re fighting for the belt.” Marina continued. “If it comes, that’s good, perfect. If not, we’ll have the next fight in order to get closer to it. We want to show our evolution in every fight. In order to do that, we need a full camp. I believe it’s going to be worth it to wait a little longer to see me in the Octagon again.”

Currently on a two-fight winning streak, Rodriguez (14-1-2) has already defeated both Waterson and Ribas this year. Before that, the 34-year-old suffered her first and sole professional loss, a split decision defeat to former champion Carla Esparza, in July 2020.