UFC women’s strawweight contender MacKenzie Dern made history on Saturday night at UFC APEX in Las Vegas when she scored a first-round submission win via kneebar over Hannah Cifers.
That stunning victory made Dern the first-ever women’s division fighter to score a victory in the UFC via leglock submission.
You can watch Dern’s history-making performance below.
After the fight, Dern was ecstatic to have put her name in the UFC’s record book.
“It feels so good!” Dern told Daniel Cormier during the post-fight interview. “I’m so happy to get the submission, you know.”
Dern credited her opponent for being strong but said her gameplan was taking her down to the ground all along. Once Dern had Cifers on the mat, she knew she had her opponent in the right place.
“She’s such a strong girl,” Dern said. “I wanted to get close to her, take her to the ground. I felt her clinch, strong you know, so, of course, when I’m on the ground, even though it’s on bottom and she’s a tough girl to be getting ground upon, I went to the jiu-jitsu and jiu-jitsu, of course, is always going to save me.”
Dern, a former world champion in no-gi jiu-jitsu, is one of the best submission artists in the company. Now Dern appears to be on her way to climbing up the women’s strawweight ladder.
Dern Explains Submission Win
Dern explained to Cormier how history unfolded in the fight.
“I’m doing that on the training all the time, this submission, you know,” Dern said. “Of course, women are flexible, but even in my jiu-jitsu leg locks have always been my specialty and I submit.”
Moreover, Dern told Cormier she hoped to be back inside the Octagon as soon as possible.
“Yeah, that’s what I’ve been asking, you know, Dana [White]…my manager, ‘Hey, if I’m not injured get me in,” Dern said. “I want to go up. Dana said Shawn said the other day, ‘Our career here is short.’ It’s a short career…so let me get in, let me fight!”
And just how soon does Dern want another fight?
“You know, next month, June, July,” Dern said. “I’m ready!”
Dern Didn’t Make Major Changes After First Career Loss
Despite suffering the first loss of her MMA career against Amanda Ribas in October 2019, Dern didn’t make any major changes to her training approach.
Instead, the 27-year-old from Phoenix, Arizona, told UFC’s Gavin Porter she continued with the same team at Black House Academy in California, and she credited her last opponent Ribas for just being the better fighter that night.
Dern’s approach seems to have paid off. In beating Cifers, Dern picked up her third UFC win and ran her overall MMA record to 8-1.
On top of that, Dern made women’s UFC history, and becoming the first person to ever do something in the premier MMA promotional company in the world is a record she will always hold.
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