Mackenzie Dern plans to revisit jiu-jitsu roots for Angela Hill: ‘I need to finish it’
COSTA MESA, Calif. – Mackenzie Dern wants to go back to her bread and butter against Angela Hill.
Dern (12-3 MMA, 7-3 UFC) will look to rebound when she faces Hill (15-12 MMA, 10-12 UFC) at a UFC Fight Night event May 13.
An ADCC and no-gi world champion in jiu-jitsu, Dern has earned seven-career wins by submission. Although she had success getting her opponents down in her two recent losses, she failed to finish them, and that bothers her.
“As Mackenzie the jiu-jitsu world champion, if I’m on the ground, I should be submitting any of the girls,” Dern told MMA Junkie. “So in that way, I’m always going to push myself. That’s why I’m training so much jiu-jitsu just to keep – jiu-jitsu is always my last priority, a little bit, because I was trying to get my striking up to where it needs to be, my takedowns, all these things.
“But now, I’m just like, ‘OK, I’m getting it to the ground now, but I need to finish it.’ I only have five minutes to get to the ground, to submit, and we still have punches and all these things. So I need to be on point with my jiu-jitsu.”
Mackenzie Dern disappointed with her jiu-jitsu in UFC Fight Night 211 loss: 'I should be finishing'
Photos: Mackenzie Dern through the years
Stylistically, Hill is a favorable matchup for Dern on paper. But Dern acknowledged Hill has grown exponentially as a fighter and has a lot more experience than her.
“I felt like that about all the girls I fought, so I learned not to underestimate any of them – because really all they need is decent defense, maybe use the cage,” Dern said. “Angela has a lot of cage experience. So that’s definitely something that gets me like, ‘Man, I can’t make a mistake with her.’ I’ve got to make sure that if I hit, I hit hard. If I’m moving, I’m moving good on my feet. If it’s on the ground, she doesn’t get up. And that’s it.”