Top UFC strawweight contenders Mackenzie Dern and Jessica Andrade have just been booked to compete against one another at UFC 295 on November 11th, 2023. This fight will undoubtedly have pretty big implications for the future of the division as both women currently sit inside the top 10. A battle between two big names like this would usually be on the main card of an event, but it’s likely that the promotion puts a lot of effort into UFC 295 as it will be headlined by Jon Jones v Stipe Miocic. If they do manage to book several huge fights for the event, Dern v Andrade may end up being on the preliminary card instead.
Andrade is a former strawweight world champion who has competed at the highest level in other weight classes too, even getting a title-shot at flyweight in the past as well. She’s fallen on tougher times since then though, as she has lost her last three fights in a row and every single one of them has been by finish. Andrade will no doubt be eager to right the ship and a win against Dern at UFC 295 would likely put her back in the top 5 and set her up for another run at the title.
Dern has been on the rise in the strawweight division for years now, ever since she made the transition from BJJ to MMA back in 2016. She’s alternated wins and losses in her last four fights, maintaining her place in the rankings but not quite breaking into the top 5. Her last fight was a very convincing win over Angela Hill and it was a fantastic display of her talents, showing that she might just have been able to turn the corner and fix the minor issues preventing her from becoming a champion. This fight against Andrade will be a huge opportunity for Dern to get a win streak going and come within a fight or two of a title-shot at strawweight.