UFC Vegas 39: Dern vs Rodriguez Main Event Pick and Analysis

  • Dern vs Rodriguez comes down to Rodriguez’s submission and takedown defense
  • Many prop bets are available, but they have trouble competing with the fighter moneylines
  • Both fighters have faced Amanda Ribas, but it’s tough to use that fight to make an expert pick 

In October 9th’s night’s main event, for UFC Fight Night: Dern vs Rodriguez, the odds have held steady since opening. Dern has lost favor, going +9% from her original position of -176 and Rodriguez is -11% moving to a slightly less lucrative underdog status than before. 

This fight has plenty of props and wager possibilities, and we’re breaking down the stats, odds, fight history and performances of both athletes to determine the best pick for this five round women’s flyweight fight. 

Mackenzie Dern vs Marina Rodriguez Odds and Props 

Fighter Money lines and 

Payout per Dollar Wagered

Over/Under 1 1/2 Over/Under 2 ½  Over/Under 3 1/2
Mackenzie Dern -167, $0.67  Over -160 Over +115 Over +152
Marina Rodriguez +151, $1.51 Under +140 Under -145 Under -172

Over/Under prop bets for this fight start out at nearly the same odds as the fighters themselves. Under 3 ½ Rounds and over 1 ½ Rounds come in at nearly the same payout, indicating a  higher likelihood of the fight ending between the middle of the second and end of the third round. 
Dern’s record has produced only first round submissions for the UFC, and Rodriguez only has early KO finishes in the UFC. If you think that one of them is going to finish, the Under 1 ½ Rounds prop at +140 is the only bet worth taking. 
Bigger fans of either fighter may be interested in the fight finishing props. 

Mackenzie Dern by Submission +100 to -105 depending on sportsbook 
Marina Rodriguez by TKO  +350

I don’t see the evidence for a Marina TKO given Dern’s 61% striking defense, and even though I think Dern will win by submission, I’d rather not risk it. 
I’ll be betting the fighter money lines, and that will be the focus for the rest of the analysis. 

Tale of the Tape for Mackenzie Dern vs Marina Rodriguez 

Fighter Mackenzie Dern Marina Rodriguez
Odds -167 +151
Age 28 34
Height 5’4” 5’7”
Reach/Stance 63” Orthodox  65” Orthodox 
Record 11-1 14-1-2
Finish % of Wins

Finish % of Fights 

64%

58%

50%

41%

Inactivity  183 days  155 days 
Submissions/TKO 7/0 1/6
Odds Last FIght  +110 (Win)  -213 (Win) 

Dern is giving up two inches of reach to the underdog Marina. It’s a concern for me, considering Dern only averages one takedown every other fight. She’ll have to strike into grappling ranges if she wants to beat Marina. 
Dern has the youth advantage, the finishing percentage advantage, has had more time off, more wins and finishes inside the UFC, and has less UFC losses. 

Mackenzie Dern vs Marina Rodriguez’s Recent Fight Performances 

For me, there are two stats that matter most- Rodriguez strikes and takedown defense, and Dern’s takedown ability and striking defense. Let’s examine those over their last five fights. Both fighters joined the promotion in 2018 and have built up all five fights since that time. 

Mackenzie Dern’s Last Five Fight Stats

Fighter   Nina Nunes  Virna Jandiroba Randa Markos Hannah Cifers Amanda Ribas
(Loss)
Dern’s Odds +110 -155 -189 -500 -175
Takedown attempts to successes  1/2 0/5 0/0 0/1 0/6
Significant Strikes Absorbed 4 63 3 7 74

Nunes, Markos and Cifers were all submitted before they could even start fighting. Markos slipped and Dern took advantage of it. Cifers got caught with a kneebar from bottom position. You’ll see that in both fights there were no Dern takedowns scored.The fifth fight against Ribas is her only loss of five. 
Dern outstruck Virna in their bout, still gaining 2:34 of control for the whole fight. Dern has significant sweeping ability, but gained control time due to pressing Virna to the fence. 
You can see that even without takedowns, Dern has gotten away with playing submission fighter. However, against Marina she will need to bring more to the table, or relive the Ribas fight.  

Marina Rodriguez’s Last Five Fight Stats 

Fighter  Michelle Waterson Amanda Ribas Carla Esparza
(Loss)
Cynthia Calvillo
(Draw)
Tecia Torres
Marina’s Odds -213 -+285 -184 -140 +140
Significant 
Strikes 
125 15 40 78 84
Takedowns defended  0/0 0/1 4/9 0/0 7/7

Tecia Torres couldn’t take Marina down a single time in fifteen minutes, but Tecia is also very small. 
Esparza was all over Rodrigues and it showed. The fifteen minute fight included 8:54 of control for Esparza. We assume Marina’s wrestling has improved, but the fight was only fourteen months ago. 
Marina’s recent knockout of the one woman who has defeated Dern has to build her confidence. I don’t think the knockout was a fluke, however I do think that in the majority of situations, Marina doesn’t show that kind of power. Marina is a bad matchup for Ribas stylistically. 

Mackenzie Dern’s Pregnancy

Dern had a baby in 2019 and the adjustment to family life can be a tough one for any fighter. However, Dern has publicly spoken about how she now parties less often and trains like it’s her job. 

She’s spoken about how the pregnancy negatively affected her sponsorships, and that doing her best for her family has been a driving factor to her continued high pace of fight activity since entering the UFC. 

Marina Rodriguez Coaching

I’d feel more confident if Marina were cross training with high level women’s  BJJ competitors. She’s currently with a team called Thai Brasil. A good team, with many decent fighters for varying organizations. 
Her BJJ coach is Igor Soares, a black belt with six mma fights. He’s not produced any other high level fighters, and it’s unclear what level of grappling competition Marina has to recreate what she will face against Dern.
I was on the fence, because I do believe that Marina can knock Dern out. With her lack of female team mates on Dern’s level, I don’t feel that she’s properly prepared to defend Dern’s submissions. 

My Final Pick for Mackenzie Dern vs Marina Rodriguez at the UFC Vegas 39 Main Event

Dern’s momentum and submission oriented game are the right combination to defeat Marina. She lost to Carla Espaza, who’s grappling and ground striking centered game proved too much for Marina just fourteen months ago. 

On October 9th, UFC Vegas 29 Dern vs Rodriguez Fight Pick and Analysis. Mixed Martial Arts betting odds.

Jacob Clark / Author

Jacob Clark had a 15 year career as a professional MMA fighter, coach, and Greg Jackson’s alum. Now, TikTok’s 12th most important BJJ influencer is bringing his sports and betting knowledge to you here at TheSportsGeek. He spends his time cooking vietnamese food and playing D&D with his family. You can meet him at jiu-jitsu open mats all over Indiana.

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