- Date & Location: Saturday, October 9 @ UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada
- Odds: Mackenzie Dern (-141) vs. Marina Rodriguez (+121) via BetOnline
- Prediction: Dern via submission
On Saturday, October 9, two of the best fighters in the UFC women’s strawweight division face off in the main event of UFC Vegas 39, which takes place at UFC Apex in Las Vegas. In that bout, Mackenzie Dern, who is the No. 5 ranked fighter in the official UFC women’s strawweight rankings. Her opponent in the fight, which is scheduled for five rounds, is the No. 6 ranked Marina Rodriguez.
The 28-year-old Dern is on four-fight winning streak. During that stretch, which began in May 2020, she has earned three “Performance of the Night ” bonus awards. Each of those bonuses came after Dern submitted her opponent in the first round. Dern is coming off an April armbar submission victory over Nina Nunes.
Rodriguez, who is 34, has won her past two bouts. Her most recent win was a May decision triumph over Michelle Waterson in a five-round main event matchup.
DERN vs. RODRIGUEZ PREDICTION & PICK
This matchup has title fight implications in the women’s strawweight division. At the very least it will give the UFC and fight fans a great idea of what the upside is of both these fighters. Rodriguez has been with the UFC since 2018. She had a rough start to her career with the promotion, going 2-1-2 in her first five outings, but things have turned around for her in her past two fights. Her knockout win over Amanda Ribas put her on the map and her decision win over Waterson added to her aura.
Dern came to the UFC in 2018 with an earned reputation as a dangerous grappler. Dern has lived up to that talk, winning seven fights via submission, including four in the UFC. However, Dern is no longer the one-trick pony she was. She has made significant improvements in her striking game and she has become a much better all-around fighter in the past three years.
Prediction: Dern -142 via SportsBetting
BETTING VALUE WITH DERN
Rodriguez is a live dog in this fight. She was a +230 underdog to Ribas, and she won that fight via second-round knockout. Striking is what gives Rodriguez a chance to win any of her fights and with Dern’s striking still developing, there’s a decent chance of an upset here. I don’t think Rodriguez will get the win, but I also won’t be shocked if Dern’s somewhat sloppy striking defense finds her getting stopped. Dern has been knocked down once in her UFC career, but that came in her promotional debut in 2018.
I think Dern will win and I think that win will come via submission. Dern’s grappling, her list of accomplishments in jiu-jitsu include multiple world titles, is leaps and bounds ahead of most women i the UFC. Rodriguez is a purple belt in jiu-jitsu, but she is not in the same class as Dern. My pick is Dern to get the win by submission. The value in this one might be in going with the submission win and the round. I think Dern gets it down before the end of the third stanza.
Pick: Dern via submission -150 via BetUs
WHO HAS THE EDGE?
Dern’s grappling game gives her the overall edge in this fight, but if Dern is too confident in her striking or her ability to take the punches of Rodriguez, should could find herself on the losing end of this contest. I really like the matchmaking of this bout.
FIGHT STATS: DERN vs. RODRIGUEZ
|Mackenzie Dern||Category||Marina Rodriguez|
|3.64||Significant Strikes Landed Per Minute||4.89|
|3.57||Significant Strikes Absorbed Per Minute||3.24|
|0.51||Takedown Average Per 15 Minutes||0.28|
|2.3||Submission Average Per 15 Minutes||0.1|
WHAT’S AT STAKE
I don’t think the winner of this fight will be in line for the next title shot in the strawweight division as Carla Esparza is the likely opponent for the winner of the upcoming bout between champion Rose Namajunas and former titleholder Weili Zhang, but the winner of this contest is likely to find themself no more than two victories away from a title scrap.
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