There have been a lot of female fighters who have been overlooked. MacKenzie Dern falls into this category. And that's the last place she should be in.
The 27-year-old Phoenix Arizona native has picked up 31 Jiu-Jitsu and submission wrestling medals. That's an incredible number for anyone. Out of those she's taken home the bronze five times, snatched the silver four times, and walked away with the gold 22 times.
Speaking of gold, with her new philosophy and coach, can MacKenzie Dern climb the Strawweight rankings and grab the title? She will always have the ground game and it has been second nature for her since she was born. MacKenzie Dern picked up her BJJ black belt from her father "Megaton" Dias.
If looking at nothing more than ground attack MacKenzie Dern, by a large margin, is the best female fighter in UFC. Outside of maybe Demian Maia, she is better than every man on the roster as well.
Now is MacKenzie Dern a chain wrestler like Khabib Nurmagomedov? No, not at all. But when it comes to solely BJJ, she is the best right now.
And her now-former coach Juan Gomez fined tuned her great mat skills. But he didn't finely round her out. With her leaving amidst a fight between her husband, pro surfer Wesley Santos, and Gomez, she's gone to the perfect coach.
MacKenzie dern could have gone to a place like ATT, AKA, Team Elevation, Hard Knocks 365, Jackson Wink, and many other spots. But her choice to go with Jason Parillo should pay off amazing dividends for her.
According to the former pro boxer, she had an amazing first camp going into the Randa Markos fight. And had "Quiet Storm" not gone down to the mat to chase her, we most likely would have seen Dern's improvements on the feet.
Randa's mistake was of epic proportions and it gave Dern a two-fight winning streak. Whether MacKenzie Dern stays ranked at 15 or moves up a slot won't be known till later this week but she did say she would like to get back in there soon, although some time away would be nice.
Most likely staring her in the face will be an opportunity to avenge her lone loss which was via unanimous decision to Amanda Ribas.
If she right now walked into the octagon against Weili Zhang, Rose Namajunas, and Joanna Jedrzejczyk they'd have too much firepower for her. Anyone else in the top 10 might struggle with her especially on the canvas.
The 9-1 fighter now has the right game plan. MacKenzie Dern believes, now more than ever, just how much of a threat she is and that's hard to argue against.
Jason Parillo isn't as overlooked as MacKenzie dern is and knows how to break things down. He did it with B.J. Penn, Michael Bisping, and continues to do it with Cris Cyborg, and Deiveson Figueiredo.
So, very soon, MacKenzie Dern may need to push some of those medals aside and make room for a UFC Strawweight title.Published 22 Sep 2020, 07:53 IST