Mackenzie Dern has earned a huge step up in competition at the upcoming UFC 273 event as she has been booked to take on top-ranked strawweight veteran Tecia Torres. Dern currently sits at number 5 in the division’s rankings and while Torres is ranked slightly lower than her at 7th, she brings a wealth of high level MMA experience that Dern doesn’t have yet. While Dern does have plenty of experience overcoming seemingly insurmountable obstacles in professional Jiu-Jitsu competition, she has not been able to replicate those results in her MMA career just yet.
She looked invincible in the first few fights of her career, right up until she ran into Amanda Ribas at UFC on ESPN+ 19 and lost a lopsided unanimous decision. She managed to bounce back incredibly well and win four straight fights in a row against increasingly difficult opposition, culminating in her last beautiful submission win against Nina Nunes (formerly Ansaroff). This put her in a fantastic position in the strawweight rankings and also earned Dern the first headline fight of her professional MMA career at UFC on ESPN 54 against Marina Rodriguez.
She went on to lose a unanimous decision to Rodriguez and is looking to bounce straight back in to title contention with a convincing win against an elite competitor. Tecia Torres fits the bill perfectly as a veteran of women’s MMA who suffered a bad run in 2018 and 2019, where she lost four fights in a row and plummeted down the rankings. Torres has recovered from her poor form and managed to put together three wins in a row to bring herself back inside the top ten of the division, meaning that Dern is also the perfect opponent for her in that she presents an opportunity to push back in to the top five and onward towards a title shot.
The full UFC 273 event, including Mackenzie Dern taking on Tecia Torres, will be available to watch live on UFC FightPass on April 9th, 2022, click here to subscribe and watch.