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Mackenzie Dern twists opponent into pretzel, wins by first-round submission

Yeah, maybe don't go to the ground with Mackenzie Dern if you can help it.

The top women's MMA prospect and Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion twisted opponent Montana Stewart up in a nasty position Friday night and finished with a submission at 3:25 of the first round at Legacy FC 61 in Dallas. Dern tied up Stewart's arm with an omoplata and then locked in a rear-naked choke simultaneously. Very high level stuff from her.

"I don't know if she [tapped to] the shoulder or the choke, but I hope both were uncomfortable," Dern told cageside reporter Ron Kruck afterward.

Dern (2-0) stayed standing a decent amount in the first round against Stewart, even landing some punches and two good knees to the mid-section. Stewart landed a couple of nice punches as well. But when it went to the ground, it was all Dern, of course. She's the best female jiu-jitsu player in the world right now.

Dern, 23, didn't have as much success with submissions in her pro debut back in July, beating Kenia Rosas by unanimous decision. She dominated that fight, but could not get the tap. The MMA Lab product made up for it here.

Afterward, Dern said she would like to fight again Dec. 2. She's targeting a fast track to the UFC — as early as 2017 —but did miss weight 2.3 pounds Thursday. That's something the very busy BJJ, and now MMA, star has to clean up in the future.

If Friday was any indication, that might be more difficult than the actual fight.

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