Touted women’s MMA prospect Mackenzie Dern is set for her Octagon debut.
Word arrived from MMA Fighting today (Mon., January 1, 2018) that the talented Brazilian jiu-jitsu champion will make her inaugural walk in the UFC against Ashley Yoder at March 3’s UFC 222 from Las Vegas, Nevada.
With longtime former women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey out of competition and likely never to return, the UFC has been searching for a women’s star to potentially replace “Rowdy,” and Dern, who’s won multiple BJJ world titles and is the daughter of respected grappler Wellington “Megaton” Dias, has been tabbed for that exact role ever since making her MMA debut in 2016.
Since then, Dern has racked up five straight wins, with her most recent a submission victory over Kaline Medeiros at December’s Invicta FC 26. Dern did show a tendency of missing weight during her early MMA days in Legacy FC, prompting a move up to flyweight in her fourth bout versus Mandy Polk this October. She returned to strawweight for her win over Medeiros.
With her weight cutting issues hopefully behind her, Dern will meet Yoder, who has lost her only two UFC bouts to Justine Kish and Angela Hill, in a gauge of her UFC readiness.
UFC 222 currently does not have a headliner for the event from T-Mobile Arena.