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LAS VEGAS – Mackenzie Dern believes she’s nearing the top of her division.
The UFC strawweight contender hopes to be in the top five of the rankings following her most recent win Saturday. Dern (11-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) defeated Nina Nunes with an impressive first-round arm-bar submission on the main card of UFC on ABC 2 in Las Vegas.
It was an easy day at the office as Dern dominated the majority of the fight, quickly getting Nunes to the ground, mounting her, and securing the armbar finish. Dern expected nothing less than what fans saw at the UFC Apex.
“Yeah, definitely because it was a typical striker vs. grappler (fight),” Dern told reporters at the UFC on ABC 2 post-fight press conference. “My last fight with Virna (Jandiroba), she has grappling, but even then I was confident to go to the ground even against a grappler. But I know the way to not risk too much like a broken nose or anything like that was to take it to the ground, and that was the game plan.”
With the win over Nunes, Dern is on a four-fight winning streak since suffering her first professional defeat back in 2019 to Amanda Ribas. The 28-year-old had an impressive 2020, and she’s starting off 2021 with plenty of promise.
Dern, who was No. 11 in the official UFC rankings heading into the fight, hopes to enter the top five of the division – or at least get close – after finishing No. 5 Nunes with relative ease.
“I would like to go to No. 5 in the rankings,” Dern said. “But I don’t know. Marina (Rodriguez), who beat Amanda Ribas who beat me, I think she’s No. 6. Claudia Gadelha, who Nina beat and I just beat Nina, is No. 7. So I think around there. I don’t know if Tatiana Suarez is going to comeback and fight soon. I know Joanna doesn’t have a fight and they have a couple of fights coming up in the division, so a lot is going to happen. I hope I can go to No. 5, but five, six, seven, around there it will be a good jump already.”