JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Mackenzie Dern learned a lot from her first UFC main event, and hopes the takeaways from it will result in a victory at UFC 273.
On the heels of a four-fight win streak, Dern (11-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) entered the first five-round contest of her UFC career against Marina Rodriguez in November. It was a fight that went the distance and did not go in her favor when the judges rendered their scores. However, despite the loss, Dern found lessons to apply to her upcoming bout against Tecia Torres.
“I have 25 minutes of footage I can go back and just study,” Dern told MMA Junkie and other reporters at Wednesday’s media day. “I think I matured so much as a fighter after that fight. I went through a lot of adversity in that fight. I had knee surgery later. Marina’s really experienced.
“So it just shows that when you get to the top, a little mistake or a little second-guessing – I guess I’d say I did a lot in that fight. I second-guessed myself on a lot of things even on the ground. I was thinking, should I ground and pound more? Should I go for the submission? Just go, you know? That’s what it’s about. We’re here to fight. Just trust in the process, trust in the training, and that’s what I was able to do in this camp.”
Torres (13-5 MMA, 9-5 UFC), who will enter Saturday’s contest running hot on a three-fight win streak, presents similar challenges for Dern that she faced in the fight against Rodriguez. Both are sharp strikers who move quickly and are smart defensively.
“I’m excited to fight Tecia,” Dern said. “She’s a little bit similar as in striking, she has good footwork, kind of like Marina. So I’m happy I’m fighting someone with a little bit similar style and I can really just correct the things that I messed up in that fight and show that I’m ready to be top 5 and up.”
Check out the full media day interview with Dern in the video above.