Table of Contents
- 1. Mackenzie Dern vs Amanda Cooper
- 2. Mackenzie Dern vs Michelle Nicolini
- 3. Mackenzie Dern vs Hannah Cifers
- 4. Mackenzie Dern vs Randa Markos
- 5. Mackenzie Dern vs Gabi Gracia
- 6. Mackenzie Dern vs Virna Jandiroba
- 7. Mackenzie Dern vs Nina Nunes
- 8. Mackenzie Dern vs Karen Antunes
- 9. Mackenzie Dern vs Kaline Medeiros
- 10. Mackenzie Dern vs Mandy Polk
- 11. Last Words
The daughter of legendary Megaton Dias and stepdaughter of Luka Dias, Dern has a long list of remarkable fights in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, mixed martial arts, and UFC. She is a No-Gi and ADCC World Champion. Additionally, Dern is ranked 6th in the female Strawweight division.
An accomplished Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, Dern started in BJJ at the age of 14 and won many trophies as a teenager. Dern won Black Belt before turning 20 because of her exceptional skill and the guidance of outstanding trainers like her father, Wellington Dias, who is a seventh-degree coral belt holder, and Leticia Ribeiro. Dern won many World Championships.
Below are 10 top unforgettable fights of Mackenzie Dern.
1. Mackenzie Dern vs Michelle Nicolini
|2016||IBJJF World Championship||Michelle Nicolini||Win||Collar Choke||F||58 kg||California, USA|
In 2016 at the IBJJF World Championship Finals, Mackenzie Dern fought against 8 times World Champion Michelle Nicolini, well known for her deadly guards. She won the competition by thrillingly showcasing her grappling skills.
In the first stage of the match, Nicolini was dominating the bout by holding Mackenzie in half guard position. Dern recovered her position by attempting a quick sweep, and later on, both players momentarily locked in a half 50/50 position. The referee stopped the match for a while and dragged them to the center of the mat.
As the match progressed Mackenzie got a strong hold over Nicolini’s sleeve. After that Nicolini tried to get the upper hand and hold Dern in a strong closed-guard position. Then Mackenzie made an immediate sweep and scored two points from a back hold.
Dern regained in the second half of the match by trapping Nicolini in a triangle choke and then immediately moving to Omoplata but Nicolini defended well. Following that, Dern made a strong grip on Nicolini’s shoulder that turned into a collar choke. Her grip was strong enough that Nicolini couldn’t bear the pressure and the bout resulted in a win for Mackenzie by Collar Choke.
Mackenzie won the match, took first place in the IBJJF rankings for the whole season, and was awarded the gold medal.
After choking out Michelle Nicolini at the 2016 IBJJF World Championship, Mackenzie Dern was declared the featherweight champion.
2. Mackenzie Dern vs Gabi Gracia
|2015||World Pro||Gabi Gracia||Win||Points||SF||ABS||Abu Dhabi, UAE|
This was one of the biggest wins of Dern because she defeated legendary Gabrielle Garcia AKA Gabi Gracia, a member of IBJJF Hall of Fame. For 53 kg Dern, it was not easy to defeat 95kg Gabi who was multiple times BJJ World Champion. Gabi was the favorite fighter in this bout.
In the first half of the match, Gabi maintained her superiority and Dern continuously tried to attain a secure and advantageous position and defend against attacks from Gabi. And finally, Dern partially succeeded in getting a dominating position and holding Gabi in a strong closed Guard but not for long. To get free from the closed guard, heavyweight Gabi lifted Dern up with her legs wrapped around her back.
Moving on to the second half of the match, Dern defended every move of Gabi with her agility and elite grappling skills and attacked to lock her in a closed guard. And the match came to a finish with Dern winning from one penalty after repelling every attack from Gabi.
For Mackenzie Dern, winning this fight was a significant accomplishment. Dern shocked everyone by defeating IBJJF Hall of Famer Gabi Garcia, who entered the fight weighing over 200 pounds.
3. Mackenzie Dern vs Karen Antunes
|2016||Pan American||Karen Antunes||Win||CPts: 4x4, Adv||F||58 kg|
Mackenzie Dern secured another remarkable win by fighting against black belt Karen Antunes, one of the top fighters in the female lightweight division.
As the match started, both competitors looked fired up. In the first half of the fight, Mackenzie got strong control over the sleeves of Karen, her grip was strong enough to almost rip off the Gi. Mackenzie retaliated with a series of strong grips over Karen in the beginning.
Dern was consistently attacking the upper body of Karen. Dern put Karen in extreme trouble by getting full control over her leg. In the next moment, Mackenzie jumped onto the legs of Karen rolling her to the fear of submission. This gave Dern two points.
Following that, Dern held a strong grip over the ankle of Karen as she is known for her powerful grips. Karen overcame the situation and freed herself from the ankle lock, this awarded her two points. In the next moment of the fight, Karen attempted to toehold but failed because of a strong defense of Mackenzie. For defending against the ankle lock, Dern approached the back grip strategy.
In the last minutes of the fight, Dern held Karen in a leg drag position. Dern was leading with two points and three advantages. Eventually, Dern made a remarkable win by defeating Karen with two points.
4. Mackenzie Dern vs Hannah Cifers
|2020||UFC on ESPN: Woodley vs. Bur||Hannah Cifers||Win||Submission (Kneebar)||1||Strawweight||Las Vegas, Nevada|
Mackenzie Dern faced Hanna Cifers in the Strawweight division at the 2020 UFC Fight Night event. Hannah with a record of ten victories out of 14 professional fights and Mackenzie with a record of seven victories and one defeat faced each other.
At the beginning of the fight, Cifers landed multiple knees and elbows as clinching barely 20 seconds into the first round, making Dern wonder if continuing to clinch or attempt takedowns was a wise move.
But immediately after Cifers started the clinch, Dern secured a takedown shortly. Dern seized Cifers' leg and locked a knee bar as she attempted to strike from the top position.
This fight showed the improvements Mackenzie made in her takedown and stand-up ability. In addition to this, this fight secured Dern’s second first-round win in four UFC competitions.
5. Mackenzie Dern vs Randa Markos
|2020||UFC Fight Night: Covington vs. Woodley||Randa Markos||Win||Submission (Armbar)||1||Strawweight||Las Vegas, Nevada|
An Iraqi born mixed martial artist Randa Markos and legendary American mixed martial artist faced each other in UFC Fight Night.
Fighting against Randa Markos was one of the most dominant performances of Dern. At the start of the fight, Dern threw a body kick that barely missed Markos, knocking Dern to the ground.
After that Dern immediately got hold of Markos' arm and started submission attacks when Markos made the foolish decision to take the fight on the mat against the grappling queen Mackenzie.
Dern smoothly transitioned from one position to the next, staying one step ahead of every grappling exchange. Dern's jiu-jitsu skills appeared unbeatable as she attacked with lethal submission of armbar, triangle, and finally mounted.
Moving to the final submission attempt of the fight, Dern had full control of the armbar and then threw hammer fists on the head and body of Markos.
Markos showed remarkable resistance against the armbar and didn’t let Dern win easily. Markos defended herself by holding Dern’s left foot so she couldn't get the leverage. In the next second, Markos turned her knee and that created leverage for Dern to pull her foot out, and ultimately Markos couldn't resist more in front of the powerful armbar of Dern and tap out.
6. Mackenzie Dern vs Amanda Cooper
|2018||UFC 224||Amanda Cooper||Win||RNC||1||Catchweight||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil|
In 2018 Mackenzie Dern faced Amanda Cooper at UFC 224, Dern was confident to win as she has a perfect UFC record 6-0.
Amanda Cooper tried to establish her striking in the first round but then she was faced overhand by Mackenzie. Dern was really looking for the overhand, she stood up firm and regained and dropped Amanda to the ground. Legendary Dern straight went to mount after landing Cooper on her back. Cooper gave up her back and you can’t give up your back against the grappling queen. Right after that, Dern attempted a submission via rear naked choke which resulted in a remarkable win for Mackenzie.
Mackenzie Dern submitted the much lighter Amanda Cooper in the first round by the notorious rear naked choke.
7. Mackenzie Dern vs Virna Jandiroba
|2020||UFC 256||Virna Jandiroba||Win||Decision (Unanimous)||3||Strawweight||Las Vegas, Nevada|
In the fight against Virna Jandiroba, Dern showed a well-rounded striking game, in contrast to most of her prior fights.
Dern outperformed her opponent in terms of volume and damage in the early five minutes of the fight. However, Dern experienced true difficulty for the first time in her career in the second round.
In an attempt at a body kick, Jandiroba kneed Dern in the face, causing a cut that flowed into Dern's eyes after the takedown that followed. It seemed that the knee broke Dern's nose.
Although her nose wasn't in great shape, Dern's corner reassured her between rounds that she should put everything on the line in the third round and she got this
The battle appeared to be open for grabs even as the last five minutes approached. Dern continued despite the wound, unafraid to stand and hit.
In the first 2 minutes of the third round, Dern delivered the heaviest punch that caused Jandiroba to stumble against the cage. This punch led to the win for Dern with a unanimous decision.
8. Mackenzie Dern vs Nina Nunes
|2021||UFC on ABC: Vettori vs. Holland||Nina Nunes||Win||Submission (Armbar)||1||Strawweight|
Mackenzie Dern fought against Nina Nunes, an American mixed martial artist who is now retired in 2021 at UFC Vegas 39. Nina spent most of her time competing in the women's flyweight category of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
In the first 2 minutes of the fight, Nina tried continuously to take her down. For the purpose of getting Dern down, Nina curled her legs and got head control.
In the next two minutes of the fight, Mackenzie attempted an armbar that proved to be the final move of the fight. Nina did a great job by keeping her arms crossed during the armbar attack but she couldn’t manage to maintain the position and lost eventually.
9. Mackenzie Dern vs Kaline Medeiros
|2017||Invicta FC 26: Maia vs. Niedzwiedz||Kaline Medeiros||Win||Submission (Armbar)||3||Strawweight||Kansas City, Missouri|
Kaline Medeiros got submitted in the main event of Invicta FC 26 by Mackenzie Dern in 2017.
As the match started, Mackenzie maintained a dominating position by throwing non-stop punches and kicks. Dern showed up her striking skills by hitting a strong head kick.
Dern wanted to win by submission, and in an attempt to do that Dern faced a sudden takedown by Medeiros. Dern stood up again to dominate herself on the ground and continued demonstrTo getg and kicking.
Moving on to the third round of the match when Dern succeeded in making her wish true. Medeiros tapout in the third round of the fight when she couldn’t bear the powerful armbar of Mackenzie. With the great win over Kaline, Dern maintained her unbeaten winning streak in her professional MMA career.
10. Mackenzie Dern vs Mandy Polk
|2017||LFA 24||Mandy Polk||Win||Submission (Rear-Naked Choke)||1||Flyweight|
Dern, a Jiu-Jitsu black belt, remained unbeaten at LFA 24 while fighting against Mandy Polk. At the beginning of the match, Dern attempted swinging strategies and threw hard hooks over Polk.
Mandy defeated many takedowns but failed to bear the continuous attacks of legendary Dern. Polk ultimately fell to the ground and tapout at 2.55 of the opening round. Mackenzie Dern preserved her unbeaten record by defeating Mandy Polk with a first-round rear naked choke.
11. Last Words
A former No.1 ranked IBJJF competitor Mackenzie Dern has a remarkable history of fights in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, mixed martial arts, and UFC. Jiu-Jitsu black belt, Dern has 85% of winning record.