Brazilian strawweight contenders will face off in the main event of UFC Vegas 39 when Mackenzie Dern fights Marina Rodriguez. Here are the odds and analysis from a betting perspective.
- When: Saturday October 9th, 2021 at 1:00pm PT (ESPN+)
- Where: UFC Apex, Las Vegas, Nevada
- Line: Mackenzie Dern (-158) and Marina Rodriguez (+128); Will the fight go the distance (FGTD) ? Yes (+164) and No (-215); odds from Fanduel Sportsbook.
Mackenzie Dern is arguably the top Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner in her division and there is little doubt that she will be looking to take the fight to the ground on Saturday.
Dern is six years younger than Rodriguez, averaging 3.64 strikes (significant) landed per minute (SLpM) with a 38 percent striking accuracy, 3.57 strikes absorbed per minute (SApM) with 61 percent striking defense, 0.51 takedowns per 15 minutes with a 10 percent takedown accuracy, 0 percent takedown defense and 2.3 submissions per 15 minutes, according to UFC Stats.
Dern brings a four-fight winning streak to the Octagon including wins over Nina Nunes (sub Rd1, 2021), Virna Jandiroba (UD, 2020), Randa Markos (sub Rd1, 2020), Hannah Cifers (sub Rd1, 2020) with her lone UFC loss coming to Amanda Ribas (UD, 2019).
Marina Rodriguez will attempt to show that she is one of the top strikers in the division, and will do everything she can to keep the contest on the feet on Saturday.
Rodriguez has a two-inch height and reach advantage over Dern. She averages 4.89 SLpM with 48 percent striking accuracy and 3.24 SApM with 54 percent striking defense, 0.28 takedowns per 15 minutes with a 33 percent takedown accuracy, 62 percent takedown defense, and 0.1 submissions per 15 minutes.
Rodriguez has won three of her last five, including victories over Michelle Waterson (UD, 2021), Ribas (TKO Rd2, 2021), and Tecia Torres (UD, 2019), with a loss to Carla Esparza (SD, 2020) and a draw to Cynthia Calvillo (2019) as well.
Mackenzie Dern vs. Marina Rodriguez Narratives
More often than not, the odds for the fight to go the distance are juiced to the ‘Yes’ in Women’s MMA, but the fact that the FGTD line for this fight is juiced to the ‘No’ indicates that Vegas thinks there will be a finish, and a prominent narrative for this fight is that if there is a finish, it will likely be a submission by Dern.
Dern backers believe that even if Dern does not shoot for a takedown over a five-round fight that Dern will find a way to get this contest to the ground, and if she gets it to the ground she will submit Rodriguez or at least dominate and control the fight.
MMA mathematicians might point out how Rodriguez finished Amanda Ribas and that Ribas dominated Dern to imply that Rodriguez should beat Dern, but how often does MMA math add up to be correct?
Mackenzie Dern vs. Marina Rodriguez Prediction
The ultimate predictor of the outcome for this fight is whether Mackenzie Dern can find a way to get it to and keep it on the ground, because on the feet, Rodriguez has higher output and better striking differential and will likely piece up Dern.
Rodriguez’s lone loss came to Carla Esparza, who took down Rodriguez five times and accumulated 8:54 minutes of control time, albeit not inflicting much damage. However, Esparza sports 3.53 takedowns per 15 minutes average and 37 percent takedown accuracy, compared to Dern’s 0.51 takedowns per 15 minutes and 10 percent takedown accuracy. Moreover, it can be expected for Rodriguez to have improved on her takedown defense and grappling since her fight with Esparza and in anticipation of the fight with Dern.
Dern has submitted four women in the UFC, but she went to decisions against Jandiroba, Ribas, and Ashley Yoder, and this fight may ultimately come down to whether Dern has the ability to impose her will in this fight and become the first person to submit Marina Rodriguez.
While Rodriguez is a very dangerous opponent, the improvement and will to win that Dern has shown in each of her matches since returning from her pregnancy, taken together with significant deficits in Rodriguez’s ability to avoid being taken down and controlled, will result in a submission victory for the jiu-jitsu wizard of the strawweight division.
Pick: Mackenzie Dern (-158)
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