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This is an exciting main event that features two of the very best Strawweights. The fact that both women have only lost once professionally, just shows you the pedigree in talent we have here in the main event. Marina Rodriguez is a pure striker who carries some legitimate power in the Strawweight division. Should she shore up her takedown defense, the sky’s the limit for Rodriguez. The same could be said about Mackenzie Dern, but in regards to her striking. Already an excellent grappler and submission artist, should Dern’s striking get to a point where she is hurting opponents on the feet, then watch out. I will say though, Dern’s striking has come a long ways and is much better than given credit for.
As for a prediction, I have Dern. While I’m concerned about Dern striking with Rodriguez long enough to get hurt, I can’t look past Rodriguez’s leaky takedown defense. In three fights, where Rodriguez lost and drew twice, she was taken down a combined ten times. The blueprint on how to neutralize the Brazilian striker is there, and I see it being exploited once again. The even bigger problem is if Rodriguez can fend off Dern’s submissions. If she can survive, there is a chance she can come back in the Championship rounds. However, I don’t foresee that happening, as I have Dern winning via submission.