Marina Rodriguez and Mackenzie Dern topped the UFC Vegas 39 card in what many people thought would be a classic striker versus grappler match-up. Ultimately the striker was the one who dominated and Rodriguez secured the unanimous decision.
Much of the first round was spent in the clinch with Rodriguez capturing Dern and wrapping her up. Rodriguez, the underdog, clearly captured the first round.
In the second Dern was able to take control on the feet and then, after being tossed to the canvas took control there too. Round 2 was all Dern, controlling the arms and body of Rodriguez as she searched for the submission. With just under a minute Dern landed huge strikes, looking to reposition her opponent but wasn’t able to get the finish before the bell.
The third round and fourth rounds were a stand-up affair which meant it was Rodriguez in control again. Dern was having trouble finding her range and it was clear going into round five Dern needed a finish if she wanted to earn the win.
In the fifth, they both landed significant strikes but neither were able to find the finish and it went to scorecards.
With this win, Rodriguez enters the conversation for the next shot at strawweight champion Rose Namajunas. Many fans and pundits believe former champion Carla Esparza should be next but we all know the UFC makes their own decisions and a big win is a good way to campaign for yourself.