Dern, a decorated Brazilian jiu-jitsu champion with an unblemished record in five MMA appearances, will be making her UFC debut against Yoder, who is on a two-fight skid, in the evening’s featured preliminary bout.
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Round 1: Referee Chris Tognoni on hand for this bout. Dern starts throwing wild hooks as soon as she gets in range, then clinches up with Yoder againt the fence. She has the left underhook, but Yoder is staying upright. Yoder trying to counter with short punches inside. They separate. Inside leg kick by Yoder. Dern again using lunging punches to close the distance. They clinch up against the fence again. They separate, but moments later Dern repeats the sequence and they’re on the fence again. Dern drops down for a double leg and almost gets the takedown. Yoder works to get away, but Dern is attacking her back now. Yoder slips out as Dern attempts a standing arm-triangle. Straight left connects for Yoder, then an inside leg kick. Dern with the straight right, but Yoder backs her up with a jab.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Yoder.
Round 2: Yoder throwing the jab early and often to back Dern up. 1-2 by Dern misses, but she ends it with a good kick to the body. Yoder pops her with a straight left again. Overhand right for Dern scores and she gets the clinch again. Yoder reverses position and they separate again. Left hand by Yoder rocks Dern. She recovers quickly. Kick to the body by Yoder, Dern whiffs on a counter right. Inside leg kick for Dern. Yoder tags her with another straight left. Inside leg kick, right hand combo by Dern. She gets a counter left on Yoder. Yoder uses a left hand of her own to halt another Dern flurry. Late takedown attempt by Dern is blocked.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Yoder. Overall 20-18, Yoder.
Round 3: Overhand right by Dern and she pushes Yoder up against the fence again. Yoder slips out and fires off three punches at Dern. She ducks a counter right and clinches with Dern against the fence. Dern reverses position. She goes low for a single leg, but Yoder fights her off. Inside leg kick by Dern, but she eats another good left from Yoder. Punch to the body for Dern gets Yoder’s attention. She times a single leg perfectly and finally gets Yoder down to the mat. She quickly transitions to Yoder’s back and scores with some punches while searching for a choke. Dern has her arm around Yoder’s chin, but can’t get it under. Yoder fights her hands off.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Dern. Overall 29-28, Yoder.
Official result: Mackenzie Dern def. Ashley Yoder via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)