BJJ World Champion Mackenzie Dern Wins UFC Debut

The highly anticipated debut of female prospect Mackenzie Dern went off without a hitch as she opens her UFC career with a tough win against  Ashley Yoder via split decision at UFC 222.

Ok, maybe saying “without a hitch” was not entirely accurate. That would be selling short the effort Ashley Yoder put forward, pushing Mackenzie Dern the distance and only losing by a split decision. Yoder definitely had her moments landing big strikes, unchecked leg kicks and even dropping Mackenzie Dern at one point.

Mackenzie Dern had a hard time taking Ashley Yoder down. This was a bit surprising considering her Brazilian Jiu Jitsu pedigree.  Still, with the result on the line in the third,Mackenzie Dern finally landed a takedown and nearly submitted Yoder in the final minute. Two judges scored the bout for Dern, 29-28. A third had it for Yoder, 29-28. ESPN also had it 29-28 for Mackenzie Dern.

“I didn’t come here and try to get a submission in the first 10 seconds,”Mackenzie Dern said. “I’m a striker, too.”