From the big boys to the smallest girls, strawweights take centre stage at the UFC Apex this weekend as Mackenzie Dern and Angela Hill headline UFC Vegas 73.
After the previous main event for this event fell out, these two women stepped up on short notice to take the five round spot as they look to improve their recent runs and push up the rankings.
Last time out at UFC Charlotte we got our main event pick spot on with a perfect pick, boosting our overall record. You can see our full picks history here.
We’ll look to further improve that record here with the main event picks for this weekend.
Recent fight history
After establishing herself as a threat to the strawweight division after a four-fight win streak, Dern has struggled in recent outings.
She suffered a unanimous decision defeat to Marina Rodriguez in a five-round main event back in October 2021, before bouncing back with a split decision win over Tecia Torres in April 2022.
Straight after that though she once again suffered defeat in a five-round main event, with Yan Xiaonan claiming a majority decision win in her last fight to move her professional record to 12-3.
Hill on the other hand has recovered from a horrible run that saw her lose five out of six, including some really controversial decision defeats.
She has since won her last two outings though, claiming unanimous decision wins against Lupita Godinez and most recently Emily Ducote back in December. Her professional record now stands at 15-12.
Dern is one of the very best Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioners in the world today, male or female, and nobody wants to go to the ground with her if they don’t have to.
Despite her excellent grappling skills though, Dern has shown a tendency to be able to strike with opponents in recent fights at least to a point where she is dangerous.
Her offensive wrestling continues to give her problems though, as she can’t use traditional takedowns to get the fight where she is strongest and it gives her opponents a chance.
As for Hill, she’s a real grinder. “Overkill” is a fine striker with good boxing skills, but she is also a decent grappler with good wrestling.
Without doubt however her greatest attribute is her cardio and her grit, with a never-say-die attitude and an ability to maintain a fast pace for 25 minutes if necessary.
This fight goes one of two ways and it seems quite clear.
If the fight goes to the ground for any prolonged period of time, then Dern is going to submit Hill. If the fight stays standing for the longest period of time, then Hill is going to be victorious.
So really what we’re predicting is if Dern can get the fight down to the ground in any way shape or form and keep her there to work her submissions, and I would be surprised if she’s not capable of doing so at some point in the 25 minutes this is scheduled for.
Neither woman needs to worry about knockout power coming back at her the other way, and Dern has the option of pulling guard or using her speed and size advantage to get this where she wants it before eventually snatching up an arm or neck for the win.
PICK – Mackenzie Dern via Submission, Round 2