Rising strawweight star Mackenzie Dern will face a tough test against Marina Rodriguez for her next fight, as announced by UFC president Dana White earlier today.
In an interview with TMZ Sports, White said that Dern will battle Rodriguez for her next fight, on a date and venue to be determined.
“She does have a fight coming up,” White said. “Hopefully, it’s done. My people hate when I do this. She’s taking on Marina Rodriguez next, which is a great fight.”
Dern and Rodriguez are the number 5 and number 6 contenders in the strawweight division, which has recently earned a spot as one of the deepest divisions in the UFC. Rodriguez is fresh off her unanimous decision win over Michelle Waterson at UFC Vegas 26, while Dern submitted Nina Ansaroff at UFC Vegas 23.
Dern and Rodriguez are both still in the running for title contention as well entering their planned fight. Strawweight champion Rose Namajunas is expected to fight either top contender Carla Esparza or a rematch with Zhang Weili for her first title defense in her second reign as champion.
The winner of the proposed Dern vs. Rodriguez fight is surely to be one of the next women in line for a shot at the belt. Following her win over Ansaroff, Dern spoke with LowKickMMA in an exclusive interview and said that she was looking at a potential fight with Joanna Jedrzejczyk but that matchup never materialized.
Namajunas earned a first-round knockout over Weili at UFC 261 to re-claim the belt and begin her second run as the belt holder.
Dern has been on a run since suffering her first loss against Amanda Ribas, having won four straight including the submission of Ansaroff. Rodriguez’s lone defeat in her professional career was to former champion Esparza at UFC Fight Island 3.
The women’s strawweight division continues to entertain and a matchup between Dern and Rodriguez should bring more clarity to the title conversation.
What do you think about the potential matchup between Mackenzie Dern and Marina Rodriguez?