Mackenzie Dern is coming off her first loss in the UFC and is set as a favourite in this UFC 256 prelim fight.
The top women’s fight on the preliminary card of UFC 256 on Saturday night from Las Vegas is a matchup of ranked strawweights as Mackenzie Dern and Virna Jandiroba face off. Dern is a -200 favourite on the MMA odds with Jandiroba at +155 for the scheduled three-rounder.
Mackenzie Dern UFC 256 Odds
The women’s strawweight champion is unbeaten Weili Zhang and Dern is ranked 11th. The 27-year-old Dern fights out of Phoenix but her father is Brazilian legendary Jiu-Jitsu fighter Wellington “Megaton” Dias. That clearly rubbed off as Dern is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and a former world top-ranked competitor in the prestigious International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation and multiple-time world Jiu-Jitsu champion across the globe.
Dern made her MMA debut in the Legacy Fighting Championship in 2016. She is 4-1 since joining the UFC, with that loss coming to Amanda Ribas via unanimous decision last October. Dern was coming off more than a year layoff due to maternity leave. She won her past two fights, both this year and against Hannah Cifers and Amanda Markos by first-round submission and earned Performance of the Night in both.
When Dern wins, it’s usually by submission (67 percent) and she has yet to win by KO/TKO. In the UFC, her fights last 7:45. Dern lands 3.07 significant strikes per minute with 33 per cent accuracy and absorbs 3.66 per minute. She averages 0.39 takedowns per 15 minutes with seven per cent accuracy and has a takedown defence of zero per cent.
Virna Jandiroba UFC 256 Odds
The 32-year-old Jandiroba (16-1) is from Brazil and ranked 13th in the strawweight division. She’s also a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and former strawweight champion in Invicta Fighting Championships. Jandiroba successfully defended that belt once before moving to the UFC.
Her debut in the organization was a loss to well-regarded Carla Esparza (ranked No. 4 strawweight) by unanimous decision in April 2019. “Carcara” has bounced back with submission victories over Mallory Martin and in August over Felice Herrig.
Jandiroba is considered one of the best women in the sport using armbars and rear-naked chokes for submission victories. A total of 13 of her 16 wins are by submission and the other three by decision. In the UFC, Jandiroba’s fights last an average of 7:40. She lands 1.22 significant strikes per minute with 45 per cent accuracy and absorbs 1.52 per minute. Needless to say, she thrives in takedowns in averaging 4.57 per 15 minutes with 50 per cent accuracy while having a takedown defence of 60 per cent.
“Mackenzie´s game is pretty [unorthodox], [while] my Jiu-Jitsu is more like a classical old school style,” Jandiroba recently told Sherdog.
That Jandiroba wins by submission Saturday is +700, while Dern doing so is +135.
UFC 256 Prediction: Dern vs. Jandiroba
The over-under is set at 2.5 rounds, with the over a -135 favourite. That the fight goes the distance is -115 on both yes and no. We don’t think it does with the younger Dern winning by second-round submission.