Renowned Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu player Mackenzie Dern makes her Octagon return this weekend at UFC 224 in here adopted home of Brazil. She faces UFC stalwart Amanda ‘ABC’ Cooper in Rio de Janeiro.
Multiple time World BJJ Champion, Dern narrowly scored a decision victory over Ashley Yoder in her promotional debut to extend her professional record to 6-0, but left an awful lot to be desired in terms of her striking, incredibly rudimentary. On the other hand, boxing ace Cooper impressively dispatched Angela Magana in her most recent walk, at UFC 218.
Arguably the most decorated grappler in the UFC already at this early stage of her career, Dern is an multiple time World Cup, Asian Open, European, and Pan American champion, and maybe most impressively in 2015, claimed gold at the ADCC Jiu-Jitsu tournament in Sao Paulo. With her grappling lineage tracing back to her father ‘Megaton’ Dias and Royler Gracie. Dern is one of the most promising prospects in MMA today. Before her Octagon debut, Dern secured her most impressive win to date back in Invicta FC, submitting the experienced Kaline Medeiros via a nasty third round armbar.
Also an accomplished Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu purple belt, Amanda ‘ABC’ Cooper is similarly experienced to Dern, but with half the successful record. Currently 3-3 throughout her 4 year career, Cooper has a tendency to get caught in submission, losing via armbar to Aspen Ladd, rear-naked choke to Cynthia Calvillo, and in The Ultimate Fighter 23 tournament finale, gave up a D’arce to eventual victor Tatiana Suarez. ‘ABC’ also has experience in the boxing ring, winning two of her three professional bouts.
I believe Dern will be challenged much more thoroughly on the feet this time round considering Cooper’s boxing pedigree, but the Michigan native’s tendency to get caught in submission scrambles poses a huge opening path for success this weekend for the Arizona youngster Dern.
The bout will now subsequently be contested at a special catchweight after Dern missed the Strawweight limit of 115lbs, coming in at 123lbs at yesterday’s weigh ins. A move to flyweight is likely for the submission specialist, given this is the third separate occasion she has missed weight.
Mackenzie Dern via submission.