Mackenzie Dern may only be one fight into her UFC career, but the submission specialist is already on a crash course to becoming a star in the sport.
Dern faces Amanda Bobby Cooper in her native Brazil at UFC 224, and is now experiencing trash talk for the first time in her MMA career.
Cooper has belittled Dern’s stand-up and wrestling in the lead-up to their fight, and Dern’s more amused than angry. The Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace she clapped back in her own kind of way, comparing Cooper to Dern’s last opponent, Ashley Yoder (via MMA Fighting):
“She doesn’t think I’m good at all, basically. It’s OK. I think that Ashley was a harder opponent than her. Ashley is like southpaw, tall. Most of Ashley’s losses by decision, never lost by submission. All of Amanda’s losses are by submission. So, I think the fight with Amanda is gonna be a good matchup with me. I think it’s gonna be way easier than against Ashley, who is taller and everything.”
“I think most people are gonna be surprised by the punches. I know they think like I click the automatic and you just go a little crazy. For sure, I’m a jiu-jitsu girl, but I’m not scared to punch. For sure, this fight I want to submit — like fast. The last fight with Ashley, I wanted to like stay standing up. I wanted to get the submission, but I didn’t have a rush to finish fast. But for Amanda, I want to submit fast. I’ll be in Brazil, I’m a Brazilian jiu-jitsu fighter, I want to like show jiu-jitsu. So, I’m going to finish as fast as possible this fight.”
Dern (6-0) admits she’s new to the trash talking aspect of the fight game, as her prior opponents never really did so prior to Cooper (3-3). But being a Brazilian fighting on a card in Brazil, Dern seems assured she will be the crowd favorite:
“It’s the first person I’m fighting that’s kind of talking about me, so I’m surprised. If it was in Vegas, I think it would be different. But man, she’s fighting in Brazil and she’s like talking a lot. I think it’s gonna be worse for her. … You know the ‘uhh vai morrer,’ they’re gonna say it no matter what, but the more she talks, the worst.”
“It’s OK that she thinks that, but she’s been submitted. So I think her ground needs to get better first before she says [something] about my ground.”
Dern and Cooper will meet on May 12 in Rio De Janeiro at UFC 224.