UFC Fight Night Betting Pick: Mackenzie Dern vs Hannah Cifers

The UFC is back this Saturday night in sunny Las Vegas, Nevada.

The company made the move to drier air and hopefully better judging after a successful run of shows in Jacksonville, Florida. I thought the UFC events went over great!

There was some rather suspect judging but Florida and New York still appear to be catching up with the rest of the country in that regard.

We had Edson Barboza over Dan Ige and man, what a fight! Ige eeking out the decision with a last-minute takedown in the third round upset a ton of fans and plenty of bettors as well.

We got lucky on the Claudia Gadelha decision victory over Angela Hill. The latter won that fight but the bad call didn’t break my heart as we had the former at even money to win by decision.

I thought that Edson did enough to win but Ige was lighting him up with his hands and Barboza showed a low fight IQ, despite being an Octagon veteran of over 20 UFC fights.

Let’s touch on that really quick because I want you guys to be aware of fight IQ when making your picks.

Barboza dropped Ige with a shot and controlled most of the 1st round.

In the 2nd round, Ige was really piecing Edson up. Going down a weight class like Barboza did is cool and all until you have to deal with hands that fast and there was some pop on those punches too.

With about 45 seconds left in the round, Barboza timed Ige opening up for a punch and landed a heavy body kick that clearly hurt the Hawaiin. Barboza hesitated with the kill switch and before he knew it, Dan had pulled guard to save his body from the KO, and Edson was limited to landing some decent elbows for half a minute.

There was a moment in the first round when Edson could have gone in for the finish also but he didn’t. Fight IQ is very very important, guys.

Ige showed better fight IQ and I believe that’s what made the difference on the judges’ scorecards.

It was a bad week for us overall and could have been the worst in over a year if the Gadelha and Song Yadong decisions didn’t go our way.

The UFC took the week off but I promise you that I didn’t. It took a little while for the rest of this weekend’s fights to be posted but I did as much research as I could. I’m ready to smash this week’s card and keep us in the green.

The online sportsbook BetOnline.AG has the betting odds for us. Today, I want to pick a lopsided matchup in the UFC Women’s Strawweight Division between BJJ world champion Mackenzie Dern and the always tough scrapper from North Carolina, Hannah Cifers.

Mackenzie Dern (-370) vs Hannah Cifers (+320)

Okay, I know what you’re thinking. Dog or pass, right? Not necessarily. I do believe that laying that 370.00 to make a bill is a bit ridiculous no matter the matchup.

Does Hannah Cifers have a chance in this one? Let’s at least give her the honor of a solid breakdown and outline how she could pull it off.

Mackenzie Dern, daughter of 6th Degree Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt Megaton Dias, is a multiple-time world champion in BJJ.

  • She won the Abu Dhabi Combat Club which is the world series of no-gi grappling.
  • She has won multiple world titles with the gi on as well in both her weight class of 60kg and the open weight division as well.

Mackenzie began her transition to mixed martial arts competition in July of 2016 when she signed on with Legacy Fighting Alliance, a small organization out of Texas now owned by the UFC.

After winning her first four fights with the company, 2 by way of submission, Mackenzie headed to the all women’s promotion of Invicta out of Kansas City where she won her one and only fight with the promotion by armbar with 15 seconds left to go.

That’s when the UFC came calling.

She edged out a split decision over Ashley Yoder who has very solid takedown defense then blasted her next opponent, Amanda Cooper, into next week with a wicked right hand over the top.

Mackenzie Dern has power! Well, she also had 8 extra pounds behind it because she severely missed weight. This was in May of 2018.

Just over a year later in June, Mackenzie and her husband Wesley Santos would welcome their first child into this world. Then, just 4 months later, Mackenzie Dern fought another rising star in the UFC, fellow Brazilian, Amanda Ribas.

Ribas is the real deal. She has a Judo Black Belt and those skills helped her keep this fight on the feet where she easily out-struck Dern.

People were absolutely shocked that she would enter a fight camp just 2 months from giving birth and then fight soon after. It obviously wasn’t the smartest move for her career but it’s just her first loss and her ceiling is as high as anyone’s.

Please Note:
Female fighters coming off of having a child have notoriously bad performances in their first fight back. I don’t want to sit here and pretend I know all the particulars but giving birth and breastfeeding is very draining and I imagine it takes the body about a year to get back to its full athletic capability.

The only knocks on Mackenzie are that she is kind of short for the weight class due to her big strong legs.

Dern doesn’t have the best takedowns. If she did, she would be the champ. She definitely could be one day. Like I said, her ceiling is very very high.

Standing across from the Brazilian this Saturday night in Vegas is Hannah Cifers.

Hannah is a very very tough woman with crisp boxing and good conditioning. Those are three traits we need for the winning blueprint to defeat Dern.

Without great takedown defense, though, like James said “Nothing Else Matters”. 3 of Hannah’s losses have come by way of ground and pound or submission.

Gillian Robertson had mercy and submitted Hannah when they fought outside of the organization a few years back.

In Hannah’s last two fights, though, she has been absolutely smashed on the mat by two women with striking bases, Angela Hill and Maycee Barber.

If and when Mackenzie takes Hannah down, it won’t be very long until the referee jumps in.

Maybe 1 out of 10 times these ladies fight, I could see Cifers sprawling and jabbing her way to a split decision win. Dern has had trouble with long lean fighters with bigger bone structures like Yoder and Ribas.

Cifers is 2 inches shorter than the Brazilian at 5’1”. This one had Dern domination written all over it. I can definitely see this fight ending in the first round by TKO or submission.

The under 1.5 rounds is pretty tempting at (+130). Throughout history, though, when the round total is set at 1.5 for a women’s fight, it almost always goes over.

It’s been a while since Mackenzie has competed and maybe she feels safe enough in there with Hannah that she takes her time.

The line has moved a lot but “Mackenzie Dern wins inside the distance” is a solid bet at (-145). This one is ending early.

Dern is going to march forward, launch an overhand right into a takedown attempt and 2 minutes later her hand will be raised.

My Picks
Over 1.5 Rounds
-160
Dern Wins Inside Distance
-145

In Conclusion

This one will be on the main card but don’t for one second believe that it’s a well-matched fight.

I think Hannah Cifers is one of the most game and even kind fighters in the UFC but none of that is going to help her when she has a multiple-time world BJJ champion on top of her.

Mackenzie Dern did look bad in her last fight this past October but I mentioned all of the contributing factors and it’s amazing the woman even tried. Her confidence is something special.

I love her laid back attitude. She may have been born in the United States but her accent and affinity for the Brazilian lifestyle say otherwise.

Mackenzie has the power to put her opponent down as well as the technique and strength to trip or pull her to the mat. I am banking on her not taking much time to do so either.

Some Octagon time wouldn’t hurt but after a questionable decision and a loss with the promotion already, I believe Dern will be motivated to put together the most dominant performance of her UFC career.

Get those bets in now, guys, and enjoy the fights this Saturday night.

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.