Rodriguez Believes She Was Close To Submitting BJJ World Champion Mackenzie Dern

The currently #3 ranked strawweight in the world recently reflected on her last win over the multiple-time BJJ world Champion Mackenzie Dern.

The two contenders headlined UFC Vegas 39 this past October, both fighters put out a great performance – Marina won via unanimous decision over Dern in the fight that was awarded the “fight of the night” bonus.

Dern was coming off of 4 straight wins in the division, and being one of the most accomplished female grapplers to ever compete in MMA, everyone expected that she would be able to impose her will on the ground, and for the first few rounds, that’s just what happened.

Marina survived Dern’s ground pressure and submission attempts for the first two rounds before taking over the fight on the feet.

In a recent interview with Drake Riggs, Marina commented on her most recent win:

“I already knew about all her experience in grappling, but MMA is about much more than just Jiu-Jitsu, our strategy was implemented perfectly, even in the second round where she was able to dominate on the ground, I kept my head cool and collected because I knew that I would be able to survive due to being so well prepared.”

More than just surviving on the ground, Marina was even able to put Dern on defensive mode when she locked a very tight D’arce Choke, the choke appeared to be so tight that many wondered if Marina would submit the BJJ legend. When asked about that moment in the fight Marina responded with:

“My first thought when I locked the D’arce was ‘wow! I’m about to submit Mackenzie Dern!’ And then I kept the choke tight but given her enormous experience in Jiu-jitsu, she was able to defend the choke well”

Marina’s next step will be to fight #4 ranked Yan Xiaonan for UFC 272 on March 5, the expectation is that with a victory over Yan, Marina will secure her spot as a title challenger.

And as for Mackenzie, she is expected to fight #7 ranked Tecia Torres on April 9, for UFC 273.