After a slick performance against Nina Nunes at UFC on ABC 2, grappling phenom Mackenzie Dern is seeking a top-five ranking following the win.
In a crossroads fight with a lot of pressure, Mackenzie Dern understood she was right on the outside of the top of the division (ranked #11). While Nunes was ranked at #5, surely desiring that placement after such a dominant performance is realistic. However, since Amanda Ribas is rated at #10 and has a win over Dern, there are definite possibilities Dern doesn’t secure a spot in the top five just yet.
Mackenzie Dern Looking To Crack The Top-5 At Strawweight
With a first-round arm-bar submission against Nunes, Mackenzie Dern is determined to crack the top five. After the big victory, the 3rd-degree blackbelt and the former ADCC champion spoke about what’s next for her career and admits that taking the fight to the ground was part of the game plan this time around.
“Yeah, definitely because it was a typical striker vs. grappler (fight),” Dern told reporters at the UFC on ABC 2 post-fight press conference. “My last fight with Virna (Jandiroba), she has grappling, but even then I was confident to go to the ground even against a grappler. But I know the way to not risk too much like a broken nose or anything like that was to take it to the ground, and that was the game plan.”
In addition to the comments about the fight, Mackenzie Dern is aware of how close she is to reaching the top of the division. Since the 28-year old is in such a stacked weight class, perhaps she will need another win to penetrate the top-five if this win wasn’t enough.
“I would like to go to No. 5 in the rankings,” Dern said. “But I don’t know. Marina (Rodriguez), who beat Amanda Ribas who beat me, I think she’s No. 6. Claudia Gadelha, who Nina beat and I just beat Nina, is No. 7. So I think around there. I don’t know if Tatiana Suarez is going to comeback and fight soon. I know Joanna doesn’t have a fight and they have a couple of fights coming up in the division, so a lot is going to happen. I hope I can go to No. 5, but five, six, seven, around there it will be a good jump already.”
Overall, Mackenzie Dern has realistic view of the strawweight division and where she stands. While she may not attain a top-five status just yet, the grappling sensation is confident her submission win will significantly impact her ranking moving forward.
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