Shortly after her win against Angela Hill at UFC Vegas 73 this past Saturday, Mackenzie Dern said she wanted an ex-UFC champion for her next fight. In perhaps her most aggressive performance in the Octagon, Dern ran through ‘Overkill,’ sweeping the judges’ scorecards with scores of 49-43, 49-44, and 49-44 for the win. In her post-fight interview, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt said she would consider one of two options for her next opponent.
“I don’t know what Rose [Namajunas] is up to, but if she’s interested in fighting, I’d like to fight Rose,” said Dern. “Maybe [get] revenge with Yan [Xiaonan]. I mean, we’ve all kind of fought almost everyone, but I never fought an ex-champion. I feel I could have that opportunity now, so yeah. Rose, Yan, someone in the top ten, top five.”
Why Mackenzie Dern wants to fight Namajunas
During her post-fight press conference, Dern explained why she set her sights on Namajunas, who has yet to return to the Octagon after losing the UFC strawweight championship to Carla Esparza. ‘Thug’ has stayed active, competing in the ADCC Denver Open recently.
From what Dern saw, she would love to test her jiu-jitsu against Namajunas’.
“For sure, I follow her on social media and all that stuff, and I saw her do an ADCC regional or something like that,” said Dern. “I’m a former ADCC champion, so for me, I’m always happy when I see the MMA girls doing jiu-jitsu and things like that.
“So, definitely for sure to fight Rose is a priority of mine right now at this moment,” continued Dern. “I think it would be a great fight, a good main event, and a good test for both of us. So, when I see her training her jiu-jitsu, I’m like, ‘Yeah, it’s not going to be an easy fight’, but I think it could be a great fight for the public, and for us.”
Dana White praises Mackenzie Dern for ‘badass‘ performance
UFC president Dana White hinted at giving Dern who she wanted after her ‘badass’ performance against Hill.
“That’s a fun fight, too,” said White. “I think Mackenzie is in a really good position after tonight’s performance. I mean, she’s never looked meaner than she looked tonight. She came out on a mission, man. She looked like she was in great shape, she fought hard for five rounds, her standup was on point, she hurt Angela Hill several times with her standup and was all over her on the ground. Other than pulling off a knockout or a sub, she couldn’t have had a better performance than tonight, so I think anything is possible for her.”
Aside from Namajunas, Dern also said Yan Xiaonan and ex-UFC champion Jéssica Andrade were also options for her. Prior to Hill, the 30-year-old suffered a majority decision loss to Xiaonan, who went on to notch a first-round KO against Andrade. ‘Fury’ has said that win should warrant a championship opportunity against Zhang Weili, but she has her next defense scheduled against Amanda Lemos.
If Xiaonan would prefer to wait for Weili, then Dern could see herself going against Andrade next.
“I would like a rematch with Yan, I think she had a great performance with Jéssica,” said Dern. “I think it was a really close fight [Xiaonan vs. Dern at UFC Vegas 61], so I would like to get that rematch if Rose wasn’t available, or even Jéssica Andrade, who is a former champion, too. But, yeah. Definitely someone in the top, ahead of me. I’m No. 8, I think, so top five. I’m prepared for all of them.”
Dern is now 2-2 in her past four appearances.
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