The UFC 273 PPV main card is underway, and we just saw a fun strawweight scrap when the #5 ranked, Mackenzie Dern, took a split decision over the #7 ranked, Tecia Torres. Dern worked her boxing in the first and third, but put on a grappling clinic in the second when she jumped a standing guard and began chaining submission attempts. Torres was game and landed a bunch of angry traditional kicks, but Dern did enough to walk away with the dub.
Before that, Mark Madsen walked away with a unanimous decision over Vinc Pichel. Madsen showed off some improved striking this time out, and then planted Pichel on his back for most of the third. Pichel was doing well on the feet, but perhaps his hubris got the best of him when he decided to try and grapple the Olympic silver medalist wrestler in Madsen.
Mackenzie Dern def. Tecia Torres by split decision (29-28 x2, 28-29): Strawweight
Dern came out winging punches, but Torres was slipping out of the way and countering. Dern entered into the clinch, but was struggling to find a way to get the fight to the floor, so Torres eventually found a way back to open space. Torres was working her leg kicks while staying elusive with her footwork. Dern continued to let her hands go, touching her target while Torres resorted to side kicks to try to get some space.
Dern jumped a standing guard pull in the beginning of the second round. She threatened with Kimura, forcing Torres to defend it while standing. Dern was able to get the fight to the floor, but Torres defended well and escaped, Dern immediately transitioned to an armbar. Torres kept Dern stacked to stay safe, but then had to deal with a knee bar attempt. Not only was Dern threatening with a kneebar, but she also had a toe hold at play. Somehow, Torres survived.
Dern went back to going after Torres with her hands to start the final round. Then as Dern went to clinch up, Torres cracked her with a hook kick to the face. Dern ate it and hit a takedown, but Torres instantly kicked her away and stood to her feet. Torres was doing her best work with her kicks, while Dern to work her boxing. The round ended with Torres attempting a takedown, but Dern is the one who landed on top.
Mark Madsen def. Vinc Pichel by unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 29-28) : Lightweight
Pichel got to work right away, launching volume in Madsen’s direction. Madsen was swinging back, but Pichel was slightly getting the better of the exchanges. Madsen decided to change levels and hit a takedown, but wasn’t able to do anything with it before Pichel was able to get up. Back on the feet, Madsen landed some quality strikes before the bell.
The close battle continued into the second act. Pichel continued to be the more active puncher, throwing in combination versus Madsen delivering just one at a time. Madsen was able to sneak around to the back to get another takedown, but Pichel started attacking with a calf slicer which allowed him to get up. Pichel even hit a late takedown on the Olympic silver medalist.
Pichel started the final round with more urgency, trying to get Madsen to break. Madsen was able to muster up a takedown, and began dropping short punches. Pichel was stuck on the bottom, trying to get to his feet but being controlled. It wasn’t until the last ten-seconds came around that Pichel got back to his feet.