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UFC Vegas: Dern vs Rodriguez - Oct 9 🇺🇸


Who wins and how?   

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Back at the APEX in Vegas for this. And if you thought last week’s card was thin…


Mackenzie Dern vs Marina Rodriguez

Randy Brown vs Jared Gooden

Tim Elliott vs Matheus Nicolau

Sabina Mazo vs Mariya Agapova

Chris Gutierrez vs Felipe Colares 

Alexandr Romanov vs Jared Vanderaa

Charles Rosa vs Damon Jackson

Lupita Godinez vs Silvana Gomez Juarez

Charlie Ontiveros vs Steve Garcia 


I’m a big fan of the main event and I think it’s well deserved for both but there’s no getting away from it, it’s one of the weaker Fight Nights we’ve had this year. You’ll get the usual ‘but it’s always these cards that deliver’ but that’s cack. Sometimes that’s the case, a lot of times it’s not. Regardless, you’re not gonna be counting the days to a card like this are you? Hopefully it’s better in reality than it looks on paper, or your phone screen.



Mackenzie Dern vs Marina Rodriguez tops this one. I know the women’s main events usually get roundly shat on but I really like this one. It’s two up and coming, in form fighters, on winning streaks, facing off in what will likely end up being a title eliminator. It’s a far cry from a fading Holly Holm or Michelle Waterson getting headline slot after headline slot no matter how many fights they lose. This is a legit fight, they’re both at the top of their game and it could be an interesting one style-wise as well.


Dern came into the UFC in 2018 with quite a lot of hype, partly due to her looks but mostly because she had a very strong grappling background, had achieved black-belt status in BJJ and won World Championships and gold medals in the ADCCs. She made the transition over to MMA in 2016 and went 5-0 with 3 submissions over the next year or so in the Legacy FC, LFA and Invicta promotions. It wasn’t all plain sailing though, she missed weight for 2 of her first 5 fights. Still, it didn’t take long for the UFC to come calling. She had a lacklustre Octagon debut, taking a split decision over Ashley Yoder. In her next fight though, she pissed through Amanda Cooper in 2 minutes. Only thing was she missed weight. Again. So that’s 3 out of her first 7 she came in heavy. She suffered her first defeat in late 2019, dropping a decision to Amanda Ribas and then found out she was pregnant.


She returned last year and it seems having a little one to look after now has really lit a fire under her and gave her a focus and discipline that wasn’t there before. Since she’s had her baby, it seems the weight misses are a thing of the past. And apparently, so is losing. She’s gone 4-0 in her 4 fights since becoming a mum, taking her to 11-1 overall. She ended 3 of those 4 fights by submission inside a round and she bagged herself 3 POTN bonuses along the way. She had a bumpy start to her MMA career but everything seems to have clicked for her now.


Rodriguez had a completely different entry to the UFC. There was no hype or buzz. She was just another signing. She’d already gone 9-0 when she was invited onto Dana’s Contender Series in 2018. She scored a quick TKO on there and it was onto the main roster. She’s done pretty well for herself since. She’s fought 7 times in the UFC so far and had a bit of a shaky start. She went to draws with Randa Markos and Cynthia Calvillo and lost a split decision to Carla Esparza in one of Esparza’s only entertaining fights. Aside from those blemishes, she’s won the other 4 fights convincingly. And 2021 has been good to her so far.


There she is twatting Amanda Ribas in January. Ribas had gained a bit of a following and had won her last 5 in a row, including a win over Dern. I think most were favouring her to win again but Rodriguez wasn’t having it. Then she got the call to main event against Michelle Waterson in May. It was all very last minute though. That card was originally supposed to be headlined by Dillashaw vs Sandhagen but that went tits up so rather than just bump a fight from the undercard up, they scrambled and booked a completely new fight in Rodriguez vs Waterson at the eleventh hour. Seemed an odd choice but whatever. Hectic fight week for both but especially Rodriguez. Because of the late notice, she only got her Visa sorted a couple of days before the show and flew out just in time for the weigh ins. Somehow she made weight and then battered Waterson over 5 rounds the next night. Given where Waterson is at in her career, it’s one of those wins that won’t look that impressive on Rodriguez’s record when people pull up her Wikipedia page a year from now. But under those circumstances, to go 25 minutes at a good pace and win clearly was quite a statement.

Anyway, yeah, this is a good one. Obviously, Dern will have the advantage in the grappling. That’s pretty much always gonna be the case. Rodriguez is the better striker. You kind of know what both want to do but it’s always fun to watch it play out. I could definitely see this being a #1 contenders match. Especially if one of them puts on a blow away performance. I could easily see the winner of this facing the winner of Namajunas vs Zhang 2 early next year. There’s still Esparza lurking as well, and I actually thought she should’ve got the shot next instead of the Zhang rematch but having multiple options for contenders is always a good thing. Looking forward to this fight a lot.



Randy Brown vs Jared Gooden. This might be alright actually but as co-main event, even on a Fight Night, it’s weak. Still, it’s not a bad fight. Brown has been threatening to become something for a while now. His record isn’t amazing at 13-4 but he’s one of those fighters that when you watch him you can see flashes of serious talent. He just hasn’t been able to put a strong run together for whatever reason. He’s lost to the likes of Vicente Luque and Niko Price but a lot of people are losing to Luque, he’s a beast. He’s got wins over Mickey Gall, Bryan Barberena, Warlley Alves and in his last fight he submitted Alex Oliveira in a round in what was his best career win and performance to date. Don’t know a lot about Gooden AKA ‘Nite Train’. But I do know in his last fight he did this…


Poor old Niklas Stolze got absolutely clobbered. Gooden had been struggling before this win though. He’d lost his first couple of UFC fights and even before that, his pre-UFC wins are all pretty much against unknowns. Gooden can obviously crack and is nobody to sleep on but I’m favouring Brown to get it done here. Hopefully it exceeds expectations because this fight is probably gonna get shat on all week because of its positioning on the card. Not that it’s their fault but you know how it goes.



Tim Elliott vs Matheus Nicolau. Cloud be a fun and frantic battle this. The Flyweights usually bring it. Elliott’s never been the most consistent fighter. He’s 17-11-1 as I type this. But his near 50-50 win/loss ratio is probably one of the more misleading records on the roster for me. When I say misleading I don’t mean he shouldn’t have those losses. The bulk of them were against the best in the game. He’s been in with Demetrious Johnson and Deiveson Figueiredo, two of the best Flyweights in MMA history. He fought Joseph Benavidez and John Dodson back when they were on top form. And more recently, he’s fought Askar Askarov and Brandon Royval, who are two of the real standouts to come into the division over the last couple of years. He’s mixed with the very best and he’s not at that elite level so naturally he’s got a bunch of losses. But when you actually sit down and watch his fights, he’s really fucking good. People forget but he gave Mighty Mouse a really good fight years ago as well, at a time when DJ was just clowning everyone at 125. He’s not without flaws obviously, or he wouldn’t have lost so much. But he’s got the skills where he’s always worth tuning in for and he probably deserves better than a half and half record. I’m a bit less familiar with Nicolau but familiar enough. He’s 16-2-1 with wins over Manel Kape and Louis Smolka and John Moraga. He’s a BJJ black-belt as well. My main memory of him is the Kape fight and he looked good in that, although Kape took his foot off the gas a lot as well. Could be fun though. Elliott likes to push the pace and, despite the losses, he’s got a lot of high level experience so we’ll see how Nicolau tackles that.



Sabina Mazo vs Mariya Agapova. Not sure what to make of this one. Both 24 years old. Both 9-2. Mazo is from Colombia, Agapova is from Kazakhstan. Haven’t seen enough of either really. I remember reading that Mazo was supposed to be a decent prospect but I haven’t been that impressed with her so far. And Agapova came in and breezed through Hannah Cifers in her UFC debut last June and she made a good first impression. But then she got sparked by nothing happening Shana Dobson who was 3-4 coming in! Yeah, fuck knows with this.



Chris Gutiérrez vs Felipe Colares. Not arsed but maybe it’ll be a pleasant surprise. Can’t say I really remember much about either. Gutiérrez is 16-4-2 and has gone unbeaten in his last 5. Had a quick look over his record and he’s been in with some good fighters and beat a couple of them. He’s got pre-UFC wins over Timur Valiev and Jimmy Flick. Colares is 10-2 and coming off a points win over Luke Sanders. The only thing I remember about Colares is the hiding he took off Montel Jackson. He took it well, to be fair. Tough sod. But he proper got his arse kicked. Yeah, no real opinion on this. Like the rest of this undercard, it’s just there.



Alexandr Romanov vs Jared Vanderaa is ***WAND’S ONE TO WATCH*** on this card. Yeah, it’s slim pickings. There wasn’t much to choose from but I like this Romanov chap so far. Who doesn’t love a big fat bloke suplexing sods left and right?


Even his own cornermen aren’t safe! Romanov looks decent in all seriousness. Undefeated at 14-0 with 13 inside the distance. Only 30 years old as well, which is practically a baby in the Heavyweight division. Hasn’t beat anyone that good yet but he’s got time. Vanderaa is 29 (yeah, I’m gonna need to see the birth certificate) with a record of 12-5 and 10 finishes. Had no opinion of him one way or the other until his last fight with Justin Tafa.



Where he bled like Ric Flair in the 80s. Hopefully didn’t sexually harass any women on the flight home though. It was one of those guilty pleasure Heavyweight slobberknockers and Vanderaa showed a ton of toughness and came out with the win. Hopefully this’ll be another fun one. Usual disclaimer that it’s Heavyweight MMA though and has just as high a chance of shitting the bed as it does stealing the show.



Charles Rosa vs Damon Jackson. Not doing a lot for me but Rosa’s had his moments over the years. I remember loving his fight with Yair Rodriguez in Mexico years back when Yair was just breaking through. His fight with Bryce Mitchell was a lot of fun too. Although saying that, he got schooled in both of those examples. If it was pro wrestling, Rosa is basically a jobber but a jobber who’s great at losing in a fun way and making his opponents look good. I like him and he’s tough and scrappy and all that good stuff, but he’s going nowhere. Barely remember Jackson apart from him having the same hairline as Pennywise. He’s knocked about a bit and he did get a submission win over Mirsad Bektic last year but then they fed him to Ilia Topuria and he got murdered. Just a making up the numbers fight but it’s evenly matched so maybe it’ll turn out better than I think.



Lupita Godinez vs Silvana Gomez Juarez. I’m This was meant to be Godinez vs Sam Hughes but Hughes’ coach got COVID so she’s out. I’m kind of interested to see Godinez back in there. She came in unbeaten at 5-0 and was the LFA Strawweight champion. Seemed like there were some high expectations for her but she made her Octagon debut stepping in on short notice in April, and lost a decision to Jessica Penne. Not good. Still, she did provide the only highlight of an otherwise dull fight…


A fucking Jacknife powerbomb Kevin Nash would be proud of! She still might have some potential. Like I said, the circumstances of her debut were far from ideal. She’s only 28 and it’s early in her career. Plenty of time. Juarez is stepping in on short notice but I read that she was set to compete on DWCS soon anyway so she’ll have already been in camp. She’s Argentinian, 36 years old with a record of 10-2 with 8 finishes. She’s coming off 3 straight wins but the only names on her record that I recognise who are halfway decent are Ariane Lipski and Poliana Botelho, and she lost to both.



Charlie Ontiveros vs Steve Garcia. Curtain jerk city. Ontiveros is 11-7. I only remember the Sideshow Bob looking sod at all because he stepped in on short notice against Kevin Holland late last year and got hurt quite badly after a slam. He was down for a while and this’ll be his first fight since. Think he’s a teammate or at least a friend of Israel Adesanya as well, if I recall right. As for his fighting abilities, not a clue. The Holland fight was the only time I’ve seen him and it was done and dusted in a couple of minutes. I have zero memory of Garcia. Fuck all. Apparently he’s 11-4 and has fought in Bellator, LFA and on DWCS. Lost his UFC debut against Luis Pena last year. Who knows? Who cares?


There you go. There are bits and bobs to cherry pick but not much at all. Like I say, I love the Dern vs Rodriguez fight. It’s just a shame it’s on a card about 7 people will watch.



Edited by wandshogun09
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Yeah, bit of a weak card this one. Despite how weak the card is, I am surprised to see Romanov on the prelims, an undefeated heavyweight prospect who's had a few UFC finishes on his record. Maybe it was the fact he couldn't continue his last fight due to a groin strike that has made them put him on the undercard.

I'm with you on Deron Winn, he is too short to be middleweight and he's missed weight a few times at that so he has no hope in making welterweight. 

That main event is pretty decent however it doesn't quite get the juices flowing completely. It would be a great co main event on a fight night but I don't think it has the star power to have a card built around it. I am sure it will be fun though.

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6 hours ago, David said:

Is this show on at an earlier hour? My Sky schedule had me thinking it was a Fight Island show.

Yeah I don’t know why this is on so early. Fight Pass prelims start at 6pm and the main card starts at 9pm. I was under the impression that they were heading back to Fight Island for a bunch of shows soon like they did around this time last year. But looking at the current schedule, it seems it’s just 267 that’ll be on Fight Island then 268 the following week is at MSG, then it’s back to the Apex again after that as far as I can tell. 

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Quite a boring main card. I skipped the prelims and I haven't read any of the results so I hope I didn't miss any barn burners but the main card was pretty dull. I enjoyed the main event though. It was quite tense and as I wanted Dern to win a lot, the fight meant more to me. It was  a chess match the more it went on. Dern really is special on the ground, she just couldn't quite match up with Marina's very obvious superior striking skills to get her on the ground though. When ever it did get to the ground though it was exciting stuff.

This main event was a lot better than the Santos/Walker fight last week.

The rest of the card I can't really say much on as it was pretty boring. Agapova got herself a nice finish and Randy Brown is a tough guy to fight with a dislocated toe and seeing him try to fix it with his other foot was gruesome. Hard bastard.

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Dern fell off a cliff completely after Round 2. It was shocking to see how gassed she was in R3, as you'd assume she could do that ground stuff for hours. I remember she looked fairly good in the stand up in her last fight, but she looked completely average in this one.

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