Amanda Cooper has zero worries for her upcoming fight against Mackenzie Dern this weekend at UFC 224.
Multiple-time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world champion Mackenzie Dern has found a good enough amount of success in her professional MMA career, so far. The 25-year-old fighter was also able to win her UFC debut at UFC 222 with a split decision verdict against Ashley Yoder in early March.
Just two months after, Dern has been booked for her second UFC fight, and upon her request. She will now be facing Amanda Bobby Cooper this weekend at UFC 224 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
In previous interviews, Dern had stated that she would be willing to trade punches with Cooper, but her ultimate goal is still to secure a victory via submission. Cooper, on the other hand, is already throwing the monkey wrench into those plans.
“Just the same, predictable strikes – throwing really hard,” Cooper said of Dern’s stand-up game in a recent pre-fight interview with MMAjunkie. “And that, to me, shows, from all the years of striking, all the years of people I’ve met, all the fights I’ve seen, the really hard, aggressive, is the lack of knowledge in this sport. Like, she doesn’t know what she’s doing striking.”
“She thinks, ‘I’m going to throw this big punch, and then I’m going to set up a takedown.’ I’ve just been doing it too long. It just seems so easy and so predictable.”
While Cooper does have some respect for Dern’s efforts to hone her striking game, she is just not at all impressed by the latter’s overall skills, even in grappling and submission.
“She’s got a tiny bit of judo, not great wrestling and great jiu-jitsu,” Cooper said. “I’m not going to take that away from her. She definitely does well with it. I’ve seen some of the fights she’s had where I didn’t think she’s done as well as she should have.”
“I give her props for trying to stand up as much as she has because I’ve seen her in interviews before say that she’s supposed to dominate on the ground, so she’s trying to work her stand-up and get better. A lot of people wouldn’t test themselves like that, but it just shows an opponent that has a lot of holes for me.”
Cooper’s confidence stems from how she is visualizing each of her fights, and this upcoming one is no different.
“I visualize every part of the fight. I visualize being in bad positions and getting out of them,” she said. “I visualize me knocking her out. I visualize me breaking her nose.”
“In my visualization, I finish her in the second round.”
UFC 224 will be headlined by the women’s bantamweight title fight between champion Amanda Nunes and Raquel Pennington.