In the main event of UFC Vegas 39, top-six strawweights collided as Mackenzie Dern was looking to extend her winning streak as she took on Marina Rodriguez.
Dern entered the fight coming off an impressive submission win over Nina Nunes which was her fourth win in a row. Rodriguez, meanwhile, was combining off her first UFC main event where she beat Michelle Waterson by decision, and before that, she scored a vicious KO over Amanda Ribas.
In the end, it was Rodriguez winning a clear-cut decision. She was able to keep the fight standing and picked apart Dern on the feet. Dern did get the fight to the ground in the second, but she couldn’t get the submission and then couldn’t get it back to the ground. Now, after UFC Vegas 39, here’s what I think should be next for both Marina Rodriguez and Mackenzie Dern.
Marina Rodriguez has proven she is a legit title contender as she is one of the best strikers in the strawweight division. The knock on the Brazilian, however, was her suspect takedown defense and what she does when she’s on the ground. Yet, she had shown off improved takedown defense in this fight and now is likely a win away from a title shot.
With Carla Esparza likely being next for the winner of Rose Namajunas vs. Weili Zhang 2, Rodriguez vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk makes a ton of sense for a Fight Night main event in February of March of 2022. It would be a kickboxing fight between two of the best strikers where the winner would likely earn a title shot. But, whether or not Jedrzejczyk even returns is to be seen.
Mackenzie Dern is now back to the drawing board after her hard-fought loss to Marina Rodriguez on Saturday at UFC Vegas 39.
There are certain things that Dern can take away and learn from. There’s no question her striking is getting better under Jason Parillo, but she will need to continue to improve on that and her wrestling to be able to get the fight to the ground.
Dern will likely return in the first quarter of 2022 and a logical next fight is against fourth-ranked Yan Xioanan who’s coming off a TKO loss to Esparza. It’s a winnable fight for Dern and if she gets her hand raised, she’s right back there for a potential number one contender fight.
What do you think should be next for Marina Rodriguez and Mackenzie Dern after UFC Vegas 39