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UFC 222 Prelim Breakout Star: Mackenzie Dern

The Prelim Breakout Star is a once per event article that helps fans get to know those who will be entertaining them from the undercard. The intention of the article is not to bring attention to the most talented guy on the preliminary card, but rather one that the common fan may have overlooked or underestimated.

Our Prelim Breakout Star from last week, Manny Bermudez, showed just how dangerous a slick submission game can be for a debuting fighter. And if you thought his ground game was go0d, you’re going to want to tune in to the UFC 222 prelims.

Mackenzie Dern

Affiliation – MMA Lab
From – Phoenix, Arizona
Height – 5’3″
Weight – 115 lbs (Bantamweight)
Record – 5-0 (0-0 UFC)


What makes her impressive

Pound-for-pound, Dern may be the best woman on the planet when it comes to grappling. After getting her black belt at age 20, she proceeded to win a laundry list of impressive titles ranging from ADCC, multiple world jiu jitsu titles, multiple world no-gi titles, and multiple pan-am titles.

And for those of you wondering how well it translates to the MMA game, look no further than her first five fights. She finished four of those five fights by submission with opponents such as Invicta mainstay Kaline Medeiros and UFC top 15 flyweight, Montana de la Rosa.


Why she has been overlooked 

The clear answer here is the number of fights she has. At only five fights and 18 months, there has not been much time to build up the fan fare. That being said, the UFC is already doing their part to promote her debut as the next big thing. Given her popularity of the jiu jitsu circuit, they may be on to something.


What makes this a good match-up

In her UFC debut, Ashley Yoder showed that she has some real chops on the ground. Even though Justine Kish got the better out of her standing and eventually got the decision, Yoder showed that her ground game could win her some fights. However, she’s now going to have to test that above average ground game against perhaps the best ground game in the division. Knowing that Yoder’s best attribute will likely be completely nullified, I imagine this being a short night.


Prelim Breakout Star Record: 138-60-1 (2 NC) (6 DNF)