UFC Fight Night: Dern vs. Rodriguez Preview

The next title contender for the strawweight championship may emerge this Saturday as Mackenzie Dern and Marina Rodriguez will square off in the UFC Vegas 39 main event. A welterweight showdown between Randy Brown and Jared Gooden is set for the co-main event slot.

An emphatic win for either Marina Rodriguez or Mackenzie Dern could see either get in ahead of Carla Esparza for the next title shot in the 115-pound division. Rodriguez, who fights out of Brazil, has won in her last two trips to the cage. An impressive knockout victory over hot prospect Amanda Ribas got her back into the win column after a close split decision loss to Esparza. Rodriguez made it two wins out of two in her first UFC main event slot against Michelle Waterson in May of 2021, picking up a unanimous decision on the scorecards. The boxing of Rodriguez has really impressed me lately, that along with some takedown defence will be pivotal in her getting her hand raised on Saturday night.

Mackenzie Dern will absolutely be trying to get this fight down to the canvas and you couldn’t blame her for that. Year’s and years of BJJ competition gives Dern a massive advantage if she can get her opponents down to the mat. Since her defeat against Amanda Ribas Dern has got on a 4-fight win streak. Hannah Cifers, Randa Markos and Nina Nunes all fell victim to the grappling goddess and were forced to tap in the first round of their respective fights. Dern had some early problems with weight cutting, those issue have now subsided. Mackenzie has been spending a lot of time with Jason Parillo and her striking has looked so much better as a result. Going into this fight, I feel that it would not be wise to test her striking skills for prolonged periods of this fight, especially with Rodriguez and her boxing skills. Really looking forward to seeing how this battle unfolds, if Dern get this done we have ourselves a superstar prospect at 115-pounds.

Randy Brown will go toe-to-toe with Jared Gooden in the welterweight division, it will serve as the co-main event of the evening. Brown is coming off an impressive on arm rear naked choke submission over Alex Oliveira in his last outing. Gooden has a stunning first round knockout victory over Niklas Stolze in his last trip to the cage. “NiteTrain” took that fight on just a few days notice and was on a two fight skid at the time, that ended up being a huge win for the Georgia native. Tim Elliott has had a career resurgence, the veteran was staring down the barrel of three straight losses but has beaten Ryan Benoit and Jordan Espinosa to start a winning run. Matheus Nicolau will be the man standing across from the former title challenger. Nicolau, who fights out of Brazil, won each of his last three contests beating Manel Kape in his last fight along with two victories outside the UFC. This will be a fast-paced, fun contest. Sabina Mazo and Mariya Agapova will be looking to get back into the win column after losing last time out. They will squre off in the women’s flyweight division. Chris Gutiérrez and Felipe Colares get the main card treatment after the Hawes/Winn fight fell through. Gutiérrez hasn’t been beaten inside the octagon in the last five attempts, winning four and drawing against Cody Durden. Colares defeated Luke Sanders in his last outing and will be looking to keep that streak alive and move up the bantamweight rankings.

The prlims have taken a bit of a hit with some fight falling through, we still have four fights to looks forward to. Heavy hitting heavyweights Alexander Romanov and Jared Vanderaa will throw some leather at 265-pounds, Romanov is unbeaten in fourteen fights and looks to be a very good prospect with thirteen finishes under his belt. Vanderaa will be looking to be the first person to defeat the Moldovan, he picked up a solid win over Justin Tafa in his last outing. Charles Rosa and Damon Jackson are set to throw down in the featherweight division, Lupita Godinez will step in to take on Silvana Gomez Juarez in the women’s strawweight division. The opening bout of the card will be a lightweight contest between Steve Garcia and Charlie Ontiveros. Check out the official fight card and start time s below.

Main card (BT Sports / ESPN+, UFC Fight Pass, 2pm ET)



Women’s Strawweight:
Mackenzie Dern vs. Marina Rodriguez

Welterweight: Randy Brown vs. Jared Gooden

Flyweight: Tim Elliott vs. Matheus Nicolau

Women’s Flyweight: Sabina Mazo vs. Mariya Agapova

Bantamweight: Chris Gutiérrez vs. Felipe Colares


Preliminary card (BT Sports / ESPN+, UFC Fight Pass, 4pm ET)

Heavyweight: Alexander Romanov vs. Jared Vanderaa

Featherweight: Charles Rosa vs. Damon Jackson

Women’s Strawweight: Lupita Godinez vs. Silvana Gomez Juarez

Lightweight: Steve Garcia vs. Charlie Ontiveros

Ian O'Neill is a Kilkenny man living in Canada. You can catch him on Twitter most of the time talking all things MMA. Follow me on Twitter and on Instagram @ioneillmma.