Ronda Rousey may be a globally recognised superstar who almost single-handedly brought woman’s MMA into the spotlight, but Ben Henderson believes his team-mate, Mackenzie Dern could go on to become an even bigger name in the sport.
“She will be bigger than Ronda Rousey before Ronda Rousey lost,” Henderson confidently predicted of his MMA Lab teammate on The MMA Hour show this week. “She’s going to be huge. She’s going to be big. She has an excellent work ethic.
“Go look her up, she is a multiple-time jiu-jitsu world champion. She’s won ADCC. She’s won Abu Dhabi. She’s won Worlds. She’s the current No. 1 ranked female jiu-jitsu practitioner on the planet. She has an amazing work ethic. She’s an amazing athlete. She definitely needs to work on her MMA skills, but her ground game is phenomenal. Any woman on the planet goes to the ground with Mackenzie and Mackenzie is going to tap her, or dominate her like she did her first opponent.”
Still just 23 years old, Dern has been a hot property in the martial arts world for some time, but she’s only just setting out on her MMA journey, claiming a unanimous decision win over Kenia Rosas in her professional debut in the strawweight division at Legacy FC 58 last month.
Dern has set herself a target of reaching the UFC in 2017, and if she keeps winning then there’s no question that the promotion would be delighted to have such a marketable star in their 115lb ranks.
“I think her working her butt off, staying grounded in the MMA world, getting better, growing, she’s super young, she’s going to be a big huge star,” Henderson said. “In 10 years you’ll see her in movies and stuff and she’s going to do great. She’s going to be awesome.”