UFC Fight Night Betting Pick: Mackenzie Dern vs Randa Markos

It was almost a clean sweep for us on the UFC card this past Saturday night.

I really do despise when fans say a fighter was robbed by a bad decision. Many times, this is simply a case of the fighter you were pulling for losing a contest that could have gone either way.

The decision between Angela Hill and Michele Waterson this past weekend was NOT one of those cases! Okay, it wasn’t a robbery either but I definitely feel like 2 of the 3 judges got it wrong.

Sal D’Amato scored it 4 rounds to 1 for Waterson. Somebody better call Saul because his brother Sal sucks!

I know Michele is beautiful and all, believe me, and she makes a nice Kiai and whenever she throws a strike but that doesn’t mean it landed cleanly. That doesn’t mean it had any power on it.

Michele did land some nice shots and her leg kicks were great. I gave her rounds 3 and 4. She got some takedowns and Angela did slow down.

Hill picked it up in the 5th, though, and was landing hard shots knocking Waterson’s head up in the air by landing clean and swift.

Unfortunately for Angela, though, she didn’t make any loud “ish” noises or Kiais to let the uneducated ignorant judges know she was landing clean.

Okay, I’m done crying about it now.

A couple of our parlays did come through for us making it a profitable night, regardless.

Jalin Turner and Alexander Romanov cruised and crushed their way to easy wins. That was (-121) and man, was that a great bet.

Both guys’ betting odds were somewhere north of 4 to 1 before fight time. Even if you got both guys as 4 to 1 favorites, I would still parlay it. I put 5 units on it myself.

I didn’t bet this parlay we picked, though, as I got spooked at the last minute thinking that Kyle Nelson would TKO Quarantillo. He did catch him but never hurt the Tampa native who went on to starch the Canadian to remain undefeated in the UFC. That parlay was (+158).

I ended up betting on Roxanne Modafferi and Ottman Azaitar, both as underdogs.

I got Azaitar at (+110) which I tipped to you guys several weeks ago when the odds came out. I didn’t tip this one but took my pal Roxy at (+260) just for monetary/moral support.

I didn’t think she would win as cleanly as she did. In fact, after her first fight with Andrea Lee 6 years ago, I said to myself that they would probably fight again and that Andrea would likely beat her.

That is the only stupid reason I didn’t pick it in an article for you guys and the age gap was a plus for Roxy in the first fight but a minus for her this time around as she is 38 now.

She got it done, though, and so did Ottman Azaitar!

Khama Worthy won me some money as an underdog but I had to hop off the train before its next stop. Azaitar has accuracy, vicious power, and KILLER INSTINCT!

Worthy is chinny and Ottman is not the guy you want to fight with a suspect jaw. That guy lets his hands fly with the utmost confidence, speed, and power the instant he has his opponent hurt.

We will see how he defends the takedown in the future but until then, Ottman has my bet. Another person who has my best is… Randa Markos. Or Mackenzie Dern.

BetOnline.AG has the betting odds for this matchup. Let’s take a gander at the UFC betting odds and make our prediction for Dern vs Markos.

Viviane Araujo (-175) vs Montana de La Rosa (+150)

  • Opening Betting Line: Dern (-330) vs Markos (+270)
Fight Goes To a Decision
+130
Fight Does Not Go To a Decision
-170

Right there, it jumps off the page at you. The line movement for this contest has been pretty significant, especially since fight week has just begun.

I can see why so much money has come in on Randa Markos but I don’t think that trend will continue.

I think we are on our way back up and this one will be about (-220) for Mackenzie Dern and maybe (+180) for Randa Markos by fight time.

If you aren’t familiar with Mackenzie Dern, she is a very polarizing figure. Most people either love her or hate her personality.

She is very matter of fact and this is a world champion Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu player, with the gi and without it, so she is going to be confident. It rubs a lot of people the wrong way but I get it.

It is hard to be a combat athlete and/or a cage fighter. You have to believe that you are the best even though people kick your butt every day. If you have any kind of reason, this is probably the wrong career for you.

Mackenzie has some of if not the very best submissions of any woman in the UFC. Her curriculum vitae of multiple world championships say it all.

Mack doesn’t have the best striking defense yet on her feet but she does crack. She dropped Amanda Bobby Cooper en route to a subsequent mata leon victory.

Mack’s biggest issue and the BIGGEST reason we aren’t looking at (-400) betting odds for Dern is her takedowns or lack thereof.

You guys want to know her takedown accuracy percentage? 7. 7%. Yes.

Randa Markos doesn’t have the greatest defense herself at 58% but mathematically, she should be able to keep this one standing.

Small Octagon, though…

You know I couldn’t get through a pick article without mentioning the one and only thing that matters when predicting the winner of a cage fight.

Randa has very nice footwork, though. I do give her credit there but she isn’t a volume striker or a power striker.

She likes to take her opponents down, control them, and possibly get the TKO or sub win but more than likely a decision. She obviously won’t be employing that game plan this Saturday opposite the submission grappling world champ.

Randa has an armbar loss to Courtney Casey and an armbar win when she tapped out Angela Hill last year. Other than those two fights, all her contests have gone the distance.

She has also alternated wins and losses throughout her entire time with the promotion minus a draw thrown in there opposite Marina Rodriguez.

That is 14 fights inside the Octagon for Randa to just 4 for Mackenzie.

I still think we will see a better version of Mackenzie Dern each time she steps into the Octagon, though. I believe that ship has sailed for the 35-year-old Markos.

Dern just turned 27 and has only been training mixed martial arts for less than 5 years.

I do think she has a small bone structure for the weight class highlighted by her loss to Amanda Ribas but she can definitely make it work for her.

Mackenzie just needs the takedowns. That’s it, and if her handlers are smart, they would be drilling wrestling three times as much as BJJ.

It will be a very nice and easy fun fight camp if she just comes in there and feels cool hitting the mitts, throws up some armbars, and calls it a day but that isn’t what world champions do.

They focus on their weaknesses no matter how it makes them feel.

Comfort is the enemy. Remember that.

Randa Markos is a good fighter all-around but specialists like Mackenzie Dern win over those well-rounded types quite often.

Please Note:
People are looking at this fight like it’s all about the takedown but that isn’t necessarily true. Randa Markos’s striking isn’t anything to write home to mom about and I have seen Mackenzie Dern floor good MMA boxers with one punch.

Okay, maybe just one mixed martial artist with alright hands, Amanda Cooper, but the fact remains, Dern hits dern hard.

What I don’t like when thinking of betting on Mackenzie is how relaxed Markos is in there and how much of a hurry Dern seems to be in at times.

Ronda Rousey fought the same way. It usually worked out for her but take the Holly Holm fight for example. There was nothing in the rules that stated Rousey had to go after Holm.

But she did. She hastily and ignorantly charged, over and over again until she couldn’t, a former boxing world champion.

All she had to do was sit back and let Holly come to her. I still think Amanda Nunes would have smashed Ronda but she could’ve beat Holm, for sure.

Yes, don’t rush.

Dern, an elite submission ace like Rousey, makes her intentions clear to her opponent from the gate that she is going for the takedown.

I think she can strike with Markos and Randa trails her jab after throwing it.

The overhand right is there.

She can chain that into a takedown and once we are on the ground, I give Markos about 2:30 before she is forced to tap.

We are in a small cage. Dern will probably be better than the last time we saw her but she likely doesn’t need to be.

Hopefully, by the end of the weekend, Mackenzie will get her takedown accuracy up to the double digits.

Dern will probably have to work her butt off to get the takedown(s) but I think she will and the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world champion will probably only need a couple, if that, to secure the W.

My Pick
Mackenzie Dern

In Conclusion

There is your first pick for this week’s UFC Fight Night card from the company’s Apex Facility in Las Vegas.

I really like the number here.

You saw that it opened at (-330) for Dern and I wouldn’t pay that.

I don’t blame people for betting her down close to where she is.

I would still bet on her straight at (-240). That’s about my straight betting limit on a favorite in MMA betting, anyways.

Markos is as tough as they come but it only takes one grenade of a right overhand from Dern and you know you don’t want to get me started again on her submission ability.

World-class, I tell ya!

Get your bets in now, team, because I think the betting odds on Mackenzie Dern will move back in the other direction making her probably 30% more expensive come fight time.

Mike Pruitt / Author

Mike has been covering sports professionally since 2017 but on the amateur scene for 25 years since when he was 12. Before the internet changed the world, he would keep detailed statistical box scores of NFL and NBA contests, write recaps, and voluntarily commentate games and fights alone in his room. Mike's military experience, Bachelors Degree, and employment thereafter were always rooted in engineering, science, and teaching. Now he enjoys being able to express himself through writing about football, golf, and car racing among other sports but most of all fighting as his life has been rooted in mixed martial arts including competing and teaching for the past 15 years.