Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu talent, Mackenzie Dern is expected to finally make her return to the Octagon in May – following a bout fallout against Ariane Carnelossi, as she tackles standup specialist, Hannah Cifers on May 23rd. at a yet to be confirmed event.
Dern, who has yet to feature since her first professional blemish against Brazil’s Amanda Ribas, last October – was scheduled to meet with Carnelossi at UFC Fight Night Lincoln on April 25th. – until the meeting was shelved after travel restrictions amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, prevented Carnelossi’s entrance to the United States. Dern was then matched with Cifers for the Nebraska event – until it’s ultimate postponement. According to MMA Fighting reporter, Guilherme Cruz, the two are now expected to meet on the May 23rd. event instead.
Arizona born grappler, Dern, arrived in the promotion back in March of 2018 – garnering a tonne of attention in the process. The 27-year-old is arguably one of the most successful Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners to make the transition to professional mixed-martial-arts in recent years, with five world championship victories placed in her trophy-laden cabinet.
Dern managed a successful debut outing in a tricky contest with Ashley Yoder – before submitting Amanda Cooper via a rear-naked choke in Brazil back at UFC 224, in a win that was overshadowed by weight-cutting woes. A mixture of preparation and travel mishaps resulted in Dern tipping the scales at 123-pounds, for her strawweight outing. The botched weight cut resulted in the third separate occasion Dern had missed the limit since her professional bow back in 2016.
Amid calls for a move to a more comfortable flyweight division, Dern successfully made weight in her most recent outing against Ribas in an October defeat. Early last year, Dern announced plans to take a hiatus from mixed-martial-arts, as her and husband, Wesley Santos, welcomed their first child in June.
The inclusion of Cifers to this 115-pound affair brings us around to a classic grappler versus striker matchup. In terms of knockout ability at strawweight, Cifers has it in abundance. The North Carolina native may have dropped recent losses to Angela Hill and Maycee Barber, but the 27-year-old has finished five contests via strikes in her career. Since her UFC bow back in late 2018, Cifers has amassed a record of 2-2, with wins coming against Jodie Esquibel, and Polyana Viana – both via decision triumphs.
In terms of potential grappler exchanges in this one, it’s hard to argue against someone as proficient as Dern. On the striking end of the equation, Cifers would hold a distinct advantage, however.