Mackenzie Dern vs. Nina Ansaroff – UFC Vegas 23 Preview

Mackenzie Dern
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 12: Mackenzie Dern battles Virna Jandiroba of Brazil in their women's strawweight bout during the UFC 256 event at UFC APEX on December 12, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

The UFC continues to pair all-action fights with events airing on the ABC network, returning with a crafty scrap between strawweight standout Mackenzie Dern and Nina Ansaroff as a part of the main card.

UFC on ABC 2 will mark the promotion’s second event with the new broadcasting partner. The event is topped by the ever-active Kevin Holland looking to erase his recent loss to Derek Brunson with an emphatic win over rising Italian powerhouse Marvin Vettori.

Mackenzie Dern Vs. Nina Ansaroff – A Testament Of Will And Motherhood

Following a three-fight win streak since having her baby in June 2019, Mackenzie Dern has never looked better inside the Octagon. She is a capable and potent finisher, and if the fight gets to the ground, she’s instantly the favorite. Dern’s grappling prowess is so impressive that even if her opponent has the top position in mount, it could still end up being dangerous for them. The Brazilian standout effectively stopped Hannah Cifers via armbar and Randa Markos via kneebar and demonstrated her unique ability to scramble and capitalize in awkward positions.

Mackenzie Dern And Her Grappling Stats (Courtesy of ESPN)

  • TD Avg.: 0.28 – Average Takedowns Landed per 15 minutes
  • TD Acc.: 5% – Takedown Accuracy
  • TD Def.: 0% – Takedown Defense (the % of opponents TD attempts that did not land)
  • Sub. Avg.: 2.2 – Average Submissions Attempted per 15 minutes

It would seemingly serve Ansaroff well to be prepared to fend off the takedown attempts. The degree of expertise Dern is special, but if Ansaroff stays disciplined and follows a strict game plan, there is a definite route to victory.

Can Ansaroff bounce back against Mackenzie Dern?

The question is convoluted, but will depend on how her body reacts following the birth of her first child with UFC double-champion Amanda Nunes. Seeing her significant other defend both belts at bantamweight and featherweight surely lit a fire under the prospect to correct her mindset and turn her career on the right path. An important factor to consider is the sheer danger of Dern’s ground game. In order to keep this fight within Ansaroff’s grasp, avoiding the ground at all costs will be paramount to winning this weekend.

Interestingly, momentum shifts in a major way as Ansaroff is currently on a one-fight losing skid, but the loss came to the rising prospect Tatiana Suarez. Prior to the loss to Suarez, Ansaroff was riding high on a four-fight win streak, including wins over Angela Hill, Markos, and former title challenger Cláudia Gadelha. Although Ansaroff is coming off a loss, she looked outstanding inside the cage before then. Conversely, outside the cage, the rising contender had a baby with double champion Nunes, so it will be intriguing to see how Ansaroff reacts to motherhood and competing professionally simultaneously.

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