Mackenzie Dern talks about her fight with Amanda Bobby Cooper at UFC 224 on May 12.
Mackenzie Dern does not feel like taking risks for her second UFC bout. After a lukewarm Octagon debut in which she scored a split decision win over Ashley Yoder, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion won’t try her at striking again when she meets Amanda Bobby Cooper in Rio de Janeiro.
As Dern told Combate, she claims to have shown not to be afraid of a stand-up match when she faced Yoder in March, and now expects a first-round submission win over her next opponent.
“I think there’s a submission on the way,” Dern said. “If it’s going to be some kind of choke or an armbar, but I think it’s going to be in the first round. That’s my goal. I don’t want to trade punches like I did in my last fight. I wanted to show I wasn’t afraid, but I think I already did that. In Brazil, I’m the Brazilian. Brazilian jiu-jitsu, I want to finish it in the first round.”
Although she won’t focus on striking when she meets Cooper in Rio de Janeiro, Dern doesn’t rule out becoming an accomplished striker in her MMA career. She still expects to score a knockout in the Octagon.
“I try to keep my feet on the ground, I know where I’m at, I got my family and my team with me,” she said. “I’m going to evolve as an athlete, I’m always going to show something more. If someone says I’m never going to win by knockout, someday I will win by knockout. I’ll want to prove everybody wrong. They can say my striking sucks, but you’ll see. I’m going to become a striker.”
Dern vs. Cooper will be on the main card of UFC 224, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on May 12. The card will be headlined by a women’s bantamweight title fight between champion Amanda Nunes and challenger Raquel Pennington.
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