Rising Women’s mixed martial arts star Mackenzie Dern is heading to the Octagon, with her debut against Ashley Yoder having just been announced for UFC 222 on March 3rd in las Vegas.
A former Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu two-time world champion, the 24-year-old has long been seen as having the potential to become a major star in mixed martial arts, and to date she’s compiled a 5-0 record competing in the Legacy FC and Invicta FC promotions.
Dern remains a work-in-progress, but her ground skills are at an elite level and her striking is constantly improving, to the extent that she signaled before the end of 2017 that she now felt she was ready to finally join the UFC.
In her debut, Dern will be competing at strawweight against the 30-year-old former TUF 23 contender Yoder, who has so far gone 0-2 in the UFC, suffering losses against both Justine Kish and Angela Hill to take her overall career record to 5-3.
This is a carefully picked fight by the UFC as Yoder’s biggest threat is from submissions, with four of her wins as a professional coming by way of armbar.
However, Yoder is only a purple belt in BJJ, while Dern is a black belt and is considered by many to be the best of her generation, so it’s going to be tough for ‘Spider Monkey’ to get the better of the Brazilian star on the mat.
Dern Vs Yoder joins a UFC 222 card that’s still without a headliner, but will also feature the likes of Stefan Struve Vs Andrei Arlovski, Hector Lombard Vs CB Dolloway and Cat Zingao Vs Ketlin Viera.