Exclusive | Mackenzie Dern on the benefit of having teammate Tabatha Ricci competing on the same upcoming card

Mackenzie Dern
Imaga via Twitter: @BlakeZooted

Mackenzie Dern is set to headline the upcoming UFC Vegas 61, as she takes on Chinese standout Yan Xiaonan in a top 10 woman’s strawweight clash.

Also competing on the same card as Dern is her training partner, Tabatha Ricci, who takes on a veteran of the sport in Jessica Penne. Dern and Ricci have been able to use each other as sparring partners for their upcoming bouts, a huge advantage considering their similar skills levels and weight classes.

In a recent LowKickMMA exclusive interview, Mackenzie Dern was asked about the benefit of sharing her training camp with a fighter like Ricci. She stated:

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“It’s definitely good when you have a sparring partner kinda going through the camp at the same time because you guys both train hard. Of course, sometimes you have a good day or sometimes a bad day. But it’s different when you have a sparring partner that doesn’t have a fight or anything like that, so they’re just fresh. It’s definitely good when you have a sparring partner that’s on the same routine as you, so I’m definitely happy for that. It’ll be good.”

Mackenzie Dern predicts a submission finish over Yan Xiaonan

On October 1st, Mackenzie Dern will square off with Yan Xiaonan in yet another headlining bout. Dern is currently coming off a somewhat controversial split decision victory over Tecia Torres, and is now looking to firmly cement her place as a 115lb contender.

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Her opponent, Yan Xiaonan, is currently riding a two-fight losing streak, having come up short against current champ Carla Esparza and elite contender Marina Rodriguez. However, prior to these two losses, Xiaonan had picked up a 14-fight unbeaten streak that included wins over the likes of Karolina Kowalkiewicz, Cláudia Gadelha and Angela Hill.

However, Dern does not intend to allow her opponent to return to winning ways, and has predicted yet another signature submission victory.

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“I think [I win] by submission for sure. Hopefully performance of the night, that’s the goal. I’m trying to make that record for the strawweight division,” Dern said. “I have a long way to catch up to Charles “Do Bronx” [Oliveira] but I definitely am trying to get performance of the night…I see a submission coming.”

Who do you see winning this headlining bout?

Combat sports journalist based out of the UK. Follow @frankbonada on Twitter for all things MMA and Boxing.