MMA Root

UFC Vegas 23 preview: ‘Focused’ Mackenzie Dern ‘ready for the champion’ — ‘I could be there now’ – MMA Root

On a mission to prove she can throw hands, UFC strawweight submission specialist Mackenzie Dern will make her return to the Octagon against venerable 115-pound veteran Nina Ansaroff at the upcoming Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) event in UFC Vegas 23. this Saturday afternoon (April 10, 2021) on ABC from inside APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada.

But the way Dern feels, he might as well be fighting strawweight champion Weili Zhang.

“I feel like I’m ready for the champion and the belt right now because that’s how focused I am,” Dern told MMA Fighting. “Of course, getting a couple more fights is always good for improvement, but focus, it could be there now. All I do now is my son, my baby, my husband, our home life and the gym. I’m just watching the fights all the time and I can’t even see myself in a different way. I’m very, very focused and that’s not going to change. I think people will see how prepared I am. “

Dern (10-1) suffered the first loss of his professional career at UFC Fight Night 161 but quickly regained his footing and regained three consecutive victories, including his unanimous decision win over Virna Jandiroba at UFC 256. As for Ansaroff (10- 6), has been out of action following her decision loss to Tatiana Suarez at UFC 238 in June 2019, busy raising her newborn baby with her partner and two-division champion, Amanda Nunes.

“I definitely want to fight as many times as possible this year against [opponents] that will bring me closer to the belt, ”Dern continued. “The champion is fighting Rose (Namajunas), Yan (Xiaonan) is fighting Carla Esparza, so there are a lot of things that will move into the top four, the top five in the coming weeks. I don’t know about Joanna (Jedrzejczyk), if she has a fight, but we’ll see what happens. I think if I can get this win, jump to the top six, then I should get [another] next opponent in the top five. “

Dern sits just outside the Top 10 at No. 11, but could rise quickly through the ranks dispatching Ansaroff, holding steady at No. 5. The next few weeks will prove to be very busy for the strawweight division, so a victory for either combatant may not line them up with a future opponent until the 115-pound wheels have finished turning.

To see who else is fighting at UFC Vegas 23, click here.

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