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.
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Fight Announcement!!! I can’t wait for this, in just eight weeks I’ll be in Rio fighting McKenzie Dern on UFC 224. I’ve been waiting for this fight longer then when I got the call for it, I’ve been waiting for this fight longer then when McKenzie got signed to UFC, I’ve been waiting for this for longer than when McKenzie get signed to Invicta, I’ve been waiting for this fight from the moment I heard her name. I’ve been training for this fight, I’ve been training for McKenzie and I’ve been training to beat her longer than you can imagine. I’m going to derail the hype train on May 12th. #ufc224 #roadtorio
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.