Bumped back from last week’s UFC Charlotte card following Irene Aldana being moved to UFC 289, Mackenzie Dern vs. Angela Hill topped Saturday’s UFC Vegas 73.
Shifting from a three round to five round affair, the championship rounds appeared to be worth keeping an eye on, were the fight to make it that far.
Dern opened the fight swinging for the fences, which led to a clinch inside of 30 seconds. That would on paper appear to favor Dern, but Hill managed to reverse, and fired at least one nasty knee to the body. When they broke, a brief firefight at center led to a throw from Dern, but Hill momentarily came out on top.
Back on the feet a moment later, Dern sat Hill down with another powerful punch, and quickly got on top! Dern stepped over into mount for a split second; Hill used the fence to escape that, but she still had Mackenzie Dern on top of her.
Hill again had to fight off Dern moving to mount, scrambling and throwing upkicks. Dern then went after a leg, and after some time hunting submissions stepped into mount and dropped a massive elbow. From there, Dern latched onto the arm-bar, and was in perfect position — but Hill clasped her hands together and ran out the clock.
Round two saw Dern throwing heavy again, only this time, she briefly gave up position because of it. Hill put a body lock in place, but whether she really wanted to go back to the ground with Mackenzie Dern was a question. On the feet, Hill was outgunned in terms of power, but was at least the more technical fighter. As the round wore on, the pair exchanged heavy blows, in what was becoming a bit of a barn burner.
In the third, a Hill combo saw Dern slip to her back. Hill went down with her, only for Dern to go after an arm-bar. Hill slipped out, and wisely go to her feet. A knee from Dern then rocked Hill, and Mackenzie landed a throw — but in a scramble, it was Hill on top. They got back up, only for Dern to take things down, getting on top and landing some heavy ground n’ pound. The rest of the round was all Dern, flowing from ground n’ pound to submission attempts, ending the round with Hill trapped in an arm-bar. Only the sheer grit and determination of Angela Hill kept her in the fight.
Round four started with another barrage from Dern; the pair then clinched, and battled it out along the fence. When they separated, Dern worked her jab, and again seemed to have the edge in stand-up. Dern appeared to give no respect to Hill’s power, walking forward, bludgeoning Hill and going after another takedown. Hill, to her credit, fought that off; in the final minute, they’d trade more, with Dern throwing a spinning back fist that had her badly out of position. That led to a takedown, with Dern on top and Hill hunting a choke from bottom.
Dern opened the final round landing a throw, but was in close against the fence, which didn’t give her much room to work. Hill, who was really starting to show the cumulative damage of the previous four-round beatdown, had guard, but being on bottom was not where she wanted to be. Dern was active on top and controlled most of the round there, hunting submissions in the final 90 seconds, then softening Hill up further with ground n’ pound. Dern got mount in the final minute, landing more smashing elbows and forcing the ref to take a close look, but the horn would sound — with no doubt as to the winner either way.
Official Result: Mackenzie Dern def. Angela Hill by unanimous decision (49-43, 49-44, 49-44)