The former Invicta FC champion first took a shot at the jiu-jitsu specialist in 2019 for not making weight in the past, but changed her tone and issued a respectful challenge a year later. Ready for her 115-pound clash with Ashley Yoder at Saturday night’s UFC 252 in Las Vegas, Souza claimed that Dern has been avoiding her.
“I think Mackenzie is still on the São Silvestre (Marathon) based on how much she has ran from me, right?” Souza said in an interview with MMA Fighting. “She was even going to fight Ariane ‘Sorriso’ (Carnelossi), who has no ground game whatsoever.
“But Mackenzie knows that if she fights me, regardless of what I say, she knows it’s going to be fire on the ground and on the feet. But I hope she wins this fight so we can see who has the best jiu-jitsu in the UFC strawweight division.”
Dern was originally booked to face Carnelossi on April 25, but the Brazilian was replaced by Hannah Cifers before the whole show eventually got cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Dern vs. Cifers was moved to May 30, and Dern won via first-round kneebar.
With Dern booked against Randa Markos on Sept. 19 and Souza slated to face Yoder this weekend, “The Brazilian Gangster” hopes Dern wins her upcoming match and accepts the challenge for later this year.
“But if she doesn’t have the courage,” Souza said, “I hope she sleeps well because I’ll haunt her dreams, her nightmares, until the end.”