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Mackenzie Dern confident she’ll submit Yan Xiaonan, eyes Rose Namajunas or the loser of Esparza-Weili next: “It definitely won’t be an easy fight”

Mackenzie Dern is excited to headline another card.

Dern is set to headline UFC Vegas 61 against Yan Xiaonan in a crucial fight for the strawweight division. Although Xiaonan is coming off two straight losses, Dern knows she is a tough test and after she defeated Tecia Torres last time out, the American expected this fight to be next.

“I mean, I thought it was the one that made the most sense, we both lost to Marina. I felt like it was the fight that made the most sense. She’s number six, I’m number five, and is coming off two losses,” Dern said on Just Scrap Radio on BJPENN.com. “I was happy to get a high-ranked fighter and to me, this is the fight that made the most sense to me… I know for sure since she is coming off two losses she is working hard, working on her takedowns defense and her ground game. She has a high volume and her striking is on point. It definitely won’t be an easy fight, and I’m excited it’s the main event so we have five rounds. But, the goal is to get the fight over in the first round.”

Although Xiaonan is on a two-fight losing skid, Dern is not taking her lightly. Xiaonan lost to Marina Rodriguez and Carla Esparza who are two of the best, including the current champ. However, Dern says she holes in Xioanan’s game in the Esparza fight.

Esparza was able to take Xioanan down at will and when she got her down, she had her way with her on the ground. For Mackenzie Dern, that only adds to her confidence, but she is making it known it won’t be an easy fight as she knows Xiaonan’s striking can give her a lot of trouble.

“I feel like that is where I will have the most difficulty, is with her standup and I don’t have good takedowns like Carla,” Dern said. “I know it won’t be easy to take her down, but I have been working a lot on my wrestling in this camp. If I can get it to the ground, even if I have to pull guard, I think I can get this fight to the ground, but the hard part is getting there and closing the distance.”

Even though Mackenzie Dern thinks getting Yan Xiaonan down will be hard, she is confident she will get her to the mat and eventually get another submission win.

“I think I will get the submission, and the goal is to get it as soon as possible,” Dern explained. “But, I can see it being in the third, fourth, or fifth round. I see a submission in this fight.”

If Dern does get the submission win as she expects, she believes there are only two fights that make sense for her. Those being Rose Namajunas or the loser of the title fight between Carla Esparza and Zhang Weili, but regardless, Dern wants at least one more scrap before fighting for the belt.

“I feel like Marina is next in line after Zhang Weili. I know she accepted the fight with Amanda Lemos, Marina is a beast and if she wins she is next in line, if she loses, maybe that could put me in front of her,” Dern concluded. “I’m not in a rush to fight for the belt, we will see, I don’t know what happens with Rose… Maybe I fight the loser of Carla and Zhang Weili, we will see. But, I would like to do another fight before I fight for the belt.”

Do you think Mackenzie Dern will submit Yan Xiaonan at UFC Vegas 61?

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM