Strawweight champion Rose Namajunas is looking for some fresh contenders after defeating former champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk for the second time, and she may have a future opponent in Mackenzie Dern. Dern was the talk of UFC 224 fight week after she came in overweight by 7 pounds and was still allowed to fight Amanda Cooper.
Dern would go on to defeat Cooper by first-round submission, and although she gave up plenty of purse money to Cooper, she improved to 7-0 in her professional MMA career, and improved to 2-0 under the UFC. Following her win over Cooper, Dern spoke to the media and said she would be going to the UFC Performance Institute to fix her weight issues and would like to remain at strawweight.
If Dern does stay at strawweight, Namajunas has her eyes on her as a future title challenger, as long as she gets her weight issues fixed. While appearing on UFC Unfiltered podcast, Namajunas said that outside of the weight issues, Dern looked “great” at UFC 224.
Other than the weight issue, I thought she looked great. That is something, I’ve always wanted to test my jiu-jitsu against, that would be awesome, I would like to face her. But, she just has together s*** together and that may be down the road.
She beat Gabi Garcia in a jiu-jitsu match, so that would be awesome. And she can obviously strike a little bit. She has that heavy first step, that a wrestler has sometimes that good right hand. You can tell she has that style developing. So it will be interesting to see if she can fix her issues and maybe she can be a future contender.
From a jiu-jitsu perspective, Dern taking on Namajunas would certainly be entertaining, but before Dern gets into any sort of title conversation, she’ll have to get control of her weight issues. If Dern continues to struggle with making the 115-pound limit for strawweight, a fight against Namajunas would be nothing more than a dream, and a move to flyweight would be more realistic for Dern.