Dern (13-3 MMA, 8-3 UFC) meets former champion Jessica Andrade (24-12 MMA, 15-10 UFC) at UFC 295 on Nov. 11 at Madison Square Garden in New York. The event airs on pay-per-view following prelims expected on ESPN and ESPN+.
Former UFC dual-champion and Olympic gold medalist wrestler Cejudo has been working on fine tuning Dern’s game, and believes a few adjustments could lead her to the title.
“Mackenzie’s a talent, man,” Cejudo said on his YouTube channel. “She’s a multiple-time world champion in the sport of jiu-jitsu. The biggest question that I have for her: How is it that she can transition into mixed martial arts and still have the same principles that she used in jiu-jitsu? A lot of what Mackenzie needs is just a good tactical game plan and just positions on technique – not over-moving, not doing these unnecessary movements, getting from point A to point B.
“The most important thing for her is her discipline. Can she stay disciplined for 15 minutes or 25 minutes? She’s probably a fight away from fighting for the title if she’s able to win this fight against Jessica Andrade. … She’s all eyes. She’s all ears. The key is to actually do it in the fight.”
Dern is coming off one of her most impressive showings to date, a dominant Fight of the Night decision win over Angela Hill in the UFC Fight Night 224 headliner in May. Cejudo likes what he’s seen out of Dern in their trainings so far.
“So far, so good,” Cejudo said on working with Dern. “If she does things right, and she’s able to bring those principles back and finds the right engineers, the future is bright for her.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 295.