Marina Rodriguez Sheds Light on Why She Turned Down a Fight Against Mackenzie Dern on July 21

Published 05/31/2021, 1:29 AM EDT
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 24: Marina Rodriguez of Brazil poses on the scale during the UFC Fight Night weigh-in inside Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 24, 2020 in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


Marina Rodriguez spoke to AG Fight and shed some light on why she won’t be headlining on July 21. Rodriguez, who’s on a two-fight win streak, recently defeated Michelle Waterson. Following her last win, UFC President Dana White revealed plans for having her headline against fellow contender Mackenzie Dern.

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However, it appears accepting another short-notice fight when being within arm’s reach of a title shot isn’t on Rodriguez’s radar. She accepted a headlining opportunity against Waterson on 11 days’ notice and doesn’t want to repeat that experience. As Rodriguez is a couple of wins away from a title shot, she understandably isn’t keen on jeopardizing her position.

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“The UFC offered us to Mackenzie for July, but I had already warned that we wanted to fight in September or October. As I saw that she wants to fight before, I believe that our fight may not even happen for now.”

“And, of course, after catching a fight (against Michelle Waterson) with 11 days notice, we talked to my trainer Marcio Malko and decided that we would do our complete planning for the next fight, because we know that it is getting closer and closer to the belt and we don’t want to miss this opportunity when it comes,” Rodriguez said. [H/T BJPenn.com]

Marina Rodriguez: Making a mark

Rodriguez has been blazing a trail in the strawweight division for a while now. She has built up her game over time. She’s ranked number 5 in the division and the only thing going against her is that she lost a split decision to Carla Esparza who is number 3. The razor-thin defeat to ‘Cookie Monster’ means Rodriguez is still a few wins away from a title opportunity.

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ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 26: (L-R) Marina Rodriguez of Brazil kicks Carla Esparza in their strawweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event inside Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 26, 2020 in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

One of those two fights is expected to be against Dern, if not now, then sometime later. The Brazilian grappling phenom, ranked number 6, is currently riding a 4-fight win streak with three submission wins.

Rodriguez vs Dern, a classic striker vs grappler match-up, will definitely be a defining fight in both women’s careers. Given the high-stakes nature of the match-up, it’s understandable that Marina Rodriguez wants to be entirely prepared for the bout.

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Watch this story: Top 5 Best Fights In The History Of UFC Women’s Division

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Darryl Pinto

1875 articles

Darryl Pinto is a senior MMA writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Mass Media (with a specialization in Journalism) out of Xavier’s College and has a year's experience in his current role. Darryl specializes in predictions, reporting, and covering UFC events live.

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