Sorry, Mackenzie Dern… Amanda Cooper Isn’t Here to be Your Friend…
Yes, there is a UFC event on this weekend. UFC 224 takes place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil this weekend, with Amanda Nunes defending her bantamweight title against Raquel Pennington. If you forgot about this, don’t worry. You’re not the only one.
Perhaps the most interesting fight on this card is actually Mackenzie Dern vs Amanda Cooper. Dern, as well as being the woman with the most confusing accent in the history of MMA, is clearly marked down as a potential superstar *cough, next Ronda Rousey, cough*.
Anyway, Dern and Cooper faced off today, bringing a touch of glamour to proceedings, with both fighters absolutely killing it in their outfits. Cooper was clearly in no mood to be all sugar and spice. In a very awkward face-off, she left Dern hanging, not once but twice. Video footage of the moment below.
Mackenzie Dern is one of the most exciting female fighters in the UFC today. She’s clearly marked down to be a star in the mold of Ronda Rousey. The 25-year-old is a no-gi ju-jitsu champion and 6-0 in her MMA career. Oh and she’s hot. She made her UFC debut against Ashley Yoder back in March, winning by split decision. She doesn’t rate Cooper’s chances.
“I think that Ashley was a harder opponent than her,” Dern said at the UFC media day. “Ashley is like southpaw, tall. Most of Ashley’s losses by decision, never lost by submission. All of Amanda’s losses are by submission. So, I think the fight with Amanda is gonna be a good matchup with me.”
That’s confidence for you.
Coming from a traditional martial arts background, Dern was all smiles and respect at UFC media day face off against Cooper. However, her flyweight opponent clearly meant business. She failed to shake hands with Dern twice, although after the first time she realized what had happened and did shake and smile at her.
The second time around there was no time for messing about. They faced off and Cooper turned on her heels, striding off straight away. In fairness, it did look like Dern delayed extending her hand out to make her opponent look bad. If so, it worked. The crowd was definitely on Dern’s side.
Cooper knows the UFC want her to lose this fight. Let’s not even pretend otherwise. She was full intensity and focus. She’s got a mixed professional record of 3 wins and 3 losses, so Dern is the justifiable favorite. However, Cooper’s boxing style might be more awkward for her to deal with than she thinks.
UFC 224 is actually a decent enough card. As well as Dern vs Cooper, Amanda Nunes defends her title for the third time, this time against Raquel Pennington. Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza fights Kelvin Gastelum in a match-up with major implications for the middleweight division. A showstopping win for either could be enough for a title shot.
Meanwhile, Lyoto Machida takes on Vitor Belfort in what could be the latter’s final UFC fight. It’s a clash of two controversial old-school fan-favorites who both seem to be made of glass right now. Should be fun.