Surging UFC strawweight contender, Mackenzie Dern has claimed that if needed, she would be open to serving as the back-up replacement fighter to the UFC 268 co-headliner between strawweight champion, Rose Namajunas and Zhang Weili — which takes place on November 5. at Madison Square Garden.

In the midst of an eye-catching four-fight winning streak, Phoenix submission ace, Dern is slated to headline a UFC on ESPN+ 52 card against Brazilian Muay Thai striker, Marina Rodriguez in her first headlining bout under the promotion’s banner.

Last featuring at UFC on ABC 2 in April of this year, the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu standout managed to take home an impressive first round armbar win over the returning Nina Nunes, landing at the #4 rank in the strawweight pile as a result of the victory. 

Recently penned for the co-headliner of UFC 268 in November, an immediate title rematch between Trevor Wittman trainee, Namajunas and Weili, with the latter attempting to avenge an April first round high-kick knockout loss back at UFC 261.

Speaking with LowKick MMA reporter, James Lynch ahead of her pairing with the #6 ranked strawweight challenger, Rodriguez, Dern has claimed that it’s possible that she would serve as a back-up replacement fighter for Namajunas vs. Weili 2 if needs be after her October pairing with Rodriguez.

Yeah, potentially — I mean, for sure,” Mackenize Dern replied when asked if she would consider serving as a back-up. “I mean, I’m training hard, like you said, I’m not thinking past Marina (Rodriguez), you know. But, I mean, I’ve been thinking about the belt since I got in line and since Moa was born.

All my training, we’ve been training for five minute rounds, we’ve been training for a lot of things since Randa Markos, since Hannah Cifers, you know,” Mackenzie Dern explained. “Who knows? No injury or anything like that, it’s definitely a possibility if my coaches are there, and we feel ready, we could take that last minute spot for sure.

Notching her fourth submission win under the UFC’s banner against Nunes, Dern, a whopping eight-time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world champion, has bested the aforenoted, Markos and Cifers via submission — in between a unanimous decision win over former Invicta FC champion, Virna Jandiroba. 

Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.