* Professional since 2016, Mackenzie Dern has 11 fights – ten wins and one loss. The BJJ black belt athlete is making her way to the top in the UFC and now she is on the 11th place in the strawweight ranking. On Saturday (10), at UFC Vegas 23, she will face Nina Ansaroff, and that might be ‘the fight of her life’.

“Since my pregnancy, I have missed my muscular mass. After four fights, I think everything is in the right place again. Standing and ground games are set, I’m ready. I brought (Rogério) Camões, who is my coach. He stayed for two months and we worked a lot on the physical side. I can think faster inside the octagon. I am feeling well prepared for the fight of my life,” Dern said.

“Ansaroff is tough, she’s #5 in the ranking, with a lot of experience. She faced Cláudia Gadelha, Carla Esparza, Tatiana Suarez and other skilled ones. That’s the first time I face someone above me in the ranking. She’s used to doing that already. I want to take it to the ground because I think her standing game is better than mine, I don’t want to stay all three rounds standing. This fight will define much in our careers,” Dern (28) stated.

Mackenzie commented on the period away from the octagon, Nina coming from a pregnancy and the dream of the strawweight Top 5.

Check more of the interview:

– Six months without fighting

I injured my nose (during the fight against Virna Jandiroba). I would fight before, but this time was good to recover. They will always attack my nose (laughs). The best thing was to fully recover. I am more calm, avoiding blows better than before. My standing game is better too. MY last fight had three rounds, but I could fight five if I needed to.

– Nina Ansaroff back from pregnancy

Every mother goes through their own experiences. I don’t know how things went with her… I really felt I could have won the first fight, but Amanda (Ribas) was faster. She (Nina) has no idea how much she will improve as an athlete and a person after the pregnancy.

– Dream about being in the strawweight Top 5

I ask for a fighter in a good place at the ranking (after beating Jandiroba). Depending on how I win Nina, I can climb to the Top 5. Maybe sixth place. If my next fight is in the main card, I will show what I know in five rounds. I am ready for the future in the UFC.

CARD:

UFC Vegas 23
UFC Apex, Las Vegas (USA)
Saturday, April 10 2021

Main Card (4pm BRT)
Middleweight: Marvin Vettori vs Kevin Holland
Featherweight: Sodiq Yusuff vs Arnold Allen
Middleweight: Kyle Daukaus vs Aliaskhab Khizriev
Middleweight: Sam Alvey vs Julian Marquez
Strawweight: Nina Ansaroff vs Mackenzie Dern
Middleweight: Mike Perry vs Daniel Rodriguez

Undercard (1pm, BRT)
Lightweight: Jim Miller vs Joe Solecki
Lightweight: Scott Holtzman vs Mateusz Gamrot
Lightweight: John Makdessi vs Ignacio Bahamondes
Heavyweight: Yorgan de Castro vs Jarjis Danho
Bantamweight: Hunter Azure vs Jack Shore
Featherweight: Luis Saldaña vs Jordan Griffin
Light heavyweight: Da Un Jung vs William Knight
Welterweight: Impa Kasanganay vs Sasha Palatnikov

*By Yago Rédua