Mackenzie Dern to Face Amanda Bobby Cooper at UFC 224

Mackenzie Dern Invicta FC
Mackenzie Dern, Invicta FC 26 Credit: Jay Anderson/Cageside Press

It’s going to be a quick turnaround for UFC newcomer Mackenzie Dern, as she’s set to face Amanda Bobby Cooper at UFC 224.

No sleep for the (BJJ) wicked. Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace Mackenzie Dern will head into familiar territory when she faces Amanda Bobby Cooper this May in Brazil. The pairing was first reported by MMA Brasil, and later confirmed in a fight announcement on social media by Cooper.

For her part, Amanda Cooper appears stoked for the match-up, saying she’d been waiting to fight Dern “right from the moment I heard her name.” Cooper (3–3) has a huge opportunity against Dern, to be sure. She’ll head into UFC 224 off a win against Angela Magana at UFC 218. Batting .500 in the UFC thus far, Cooper made the finals of TUF 23, but came up short against Tatiana Suarez. A win against Anna Elmose followed by a loss to Cynthia Calvillo represent the other bouts in her UFC career to date.

Mackenzie Dern (6-0) was victorious in her UFC debut earlier this month at UFC 222. Earning a split decision against Ashley Yoder, it wasn’t the most decisive victory, but was still enough to get the job done. In matching her up against Cooper, the UFC seems to be taking a measured approach to her development. Frankly, it’s a winnable fight for either competitor; Dern however will how the obvious edge on the mat.

Dern has long been touted as one of the hottest prospects in MMA, first under the Legacy FC (and later LFA) banner. She then jumped to Invicta FC for a single fight before moving to the UFC earlier this year.

UFC 224 takes place May 12 at the Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In the main event, women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes faces Raquel Pennington.