Mackenzie Dern delivered a dominant performance tonight against Angela Hill at UFC Fight Night 224, but her opponent’s stubborn refusal to allow her to get a finish inside the distance meant she had to settle for a win on the scorecards.
The strawweight main event is underway in Las Vegas!
Dern swinging for the fences immediately and lands a few hard punches. Hill goes into the clinch and presses Dern into the cage.
Dern with a couple of knees as she tries to reverse this position. They continue to jockey for position against the cage and Hill still has the upperhand for now.
Now they break apart. Hill looking to punch to the body, but Dern is throwing big blows in response. Dern goes for a throw, but overcooks it and ends up on bottom.
It’s not long before they are back upright. Dern continuing to be aggressive and a heavy punch drops Hill. Dern getting on top now and trying to work onto her back. Hill scrambles and Dern is now on top in half-guard.
Dern looking to pass guard, but Hill does well to prevent that. Dern changes position looking for a kneebar, but nothing doing, so she now looks to improve position again and gets to side control then passes to mount.
Dern with punches and some heavy elbows in the mount. Now she’s working for an armbar with 20 seconds to go. Hill desperately trying to maintain her grip to prevent the arm extension, and does so to make it out of the round.
Dern with a couple of hard right hands. Now a leg kick. Body kick and mauling punches from Dern. Hill having to back off under this pressure.
Overhand lands for Dern, but overswings and Hill clinches up and moves around to her back standing close to the cage.
Hill trying to get a hook in and wear on Dern here. She attempts to work for a choke, but then lets go of it and settles for pressing Dern into the cage.
Knee for Hill. Dern manages to fight out of the clinch by throwing hard elbows.
Nice calf kick from Dern as Hill was trying to throws hands. Hill presses Dern into the cage again. Dern trying to land some knees to the body.
Now they both exchange knees. Hill lands a clubbing blow as they break free. Hill trying to swing hard now. scrappy action and then Hill clinches up again.
Dern throws a knee upstairs that just misses. She attempts again, but falls to the mat off-balance from it and Hill gets on top.
However, that puts her into Dern’s world and from her back the BJJ ace quickly works for a triangle choke. It’s not quite in, but then she transitions to an armbar. Hill quickly backs away and goes upright.
Dern up and Hill throws a kick. Dern goes for the knee upstairs again and it connects, rocking Hill for a moment. She toughs it out though and works a takedown.
Dern drives back up and presses Hill into the cage. Dern lands a takedown and is into mount quickly.
Dern starts to land some punches and Hill attempts to wall-walk and buck her off. Hill turns now to her knees but Dern is heavy on her and lands a couple of hard punches.
Big punches for Dern and Hill is wall-walking again to change position and stay in the fight. Dern still in control though and landing more big blows.
Dern back in full mount now. A few more punches connect. 50 seconds left in the round as Dern yells with every punch she lands. Now Dern works for armbar. Hill continues to battle hard to fight it off, using her legs to try to protect herself.
Final 10 seconds and Dern breaks her grip but still can’t get the finish and so we head to the fourth. Big round for Dern and great toughness from Hill.
Hill’s left eye is badly swollen now. Dern wading forward immediately with big punches landing. Hill clinches up and presses her into the cage.
Dern looking for knees and elbows and they break apart. Both looking to trade punches. Risky for Hill since Dern has a serious power advantage.
leg kick lands nicely for Dern and then works into the clinch against the cage. Good cardio from Dern so far given how much she’s been putting into her strikes in addition to the clinch work and grappling.
Hill able to reverse her into the cage, but then Dern returns the favor. Dern with a few knees to the leg. Hill turns into her again and lands a knee, but then Dern fires back with hard strikes of her own as they move apart.
Dern with a judo throw but is having to scramble to work on top. She does so and then Hill tries to work a choke from her back in the final few seconds of the round.
Dern pumps the jab then marches into the clinch with a one-two. Dern brings her down against the cage and is now in Hill’s guard.
Hill trying to work an armbar from her back, but that’ll be tough to do against Dern and she soon gives up on that. Dern stacking up and now passes to side control. North-south now and lands a few punches. Hill goes to her knees and Dern has her back for a moment.
Dern in side control again and lands some nice elbows and then punches. Less than two minutes remaining. Dern looking for an arm and then takes the back. Dern lands a few punches and then rolls on to her back. Hill tries to turn on top, but Dern adjusts and ends up in mount, then to the back, then back to mount.
Powerful elbows from Dern to the head. 20 seconds to go. Dern trying for an arm, then goes back to ground and pound. Hill hangs on in there to make it to the final bell.
A very strong showing from Dern there who delivered her most aggressive performance to date and was only prevented from clocking up a finish due to Hill’s impressive toughness. Dern wins by unanimous decision (49-43, 49-44 x2).