Dern is still rounding out her mixed martial arts skill set.
That could be a scary prospect for the rest of the Ultimate
Fighting Championship’s strawweight division.
Dern dominated Angela Hill
on the feet and on the canvas en route to a lopsided unanimous
decision triumph in the
UFC Fight Night 223 headliner at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas on
Saturday night. Cageside judges scored the strawweight bout 49-43,
49-44 and 49-44 in favor of Dern, who rebounded from a decision
loss to Xiaonan Yan
in her most recent outing this past October.
Dern (13-3, 8-3 UFC) came out with aggressive striking, sitting
Hill down near the fence with a right hand in the opening stanza.
From there, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt nearly secured an
armbar before the horn sounded. Survival would be the prevalent
theme for Hill, who had her most success when she slowed down the
pace and pressed her opponent into the fence for much of Round
That would be the last highlight for Hill. Dern wobbled Angie
“Overkill” with a knee flush to the chin in Round 3 and nearly
finished the contest with brutal ground-and-pound before once again
threatening with an armbar before the horn. Hill (15-13, 10-13 UFC)
showed great tenacity by going the distance, but the championship
rounds were still largely one-way traffic in favor of Dern, who
once again nearly put her adversary away with heavy
ground-and-pound in the final frame.
Hill sees a modest two-fight winning streak snapped in defeat.
Hernandez Wears Down Shahbazyan
Hernandez weathered a strong start from Edmen
Shahbazyan and pulled away for a third-round technical knockout
victory in a middleweight bout. “Fluffly”
drew the curtain on the match with ground-and-pound at
the 1:01 mark of Round 3. Hernandez has been victorious in his last
four UFC appearances — including three inside the distance.
Shahbazyan (12-4, 5-4 UFC) did well early with his striking,
attacking with punches to the head, knees to the body and leg
kicks. While Hernandez (11-2, 5-2 UFC) ate his share of solid
shots, he gradually began to impose his will on the Xtreme Couture
member. Hernandez cut Shahbazyan open with close quarters elbows,
landed multiple takedowns and forced his foe to defend one
submission after another on the canvas. With Shahbazyan fading,
Hernandez shifted his focus to ground-and-pound to force referee
Dean’s hand in the final stanza.
Godinez Outpoints Ducote
Crisp boxing propelled Lobo Gym representative Lupita
Godinez to a unanimous verdict against former Invicta FC title
Ducote in a 120-pound catchweight clash. All three judges
scored the fight in favor Godinez: 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28. The
ex-Legacy Fighting Alliance champion has won four of her last five
Godinez (10-3, 5-3 UFC) started strong, countering effectively with
straight shots to the head of her opponent. She also denied her
opponent’s attempts to take the action to the canvas, often
punishing Ducote’s takedown tries with knees in close quarters. To
her credit, Ducote became more competitive as the bout progressed,
but she couldn’t match Godinez in terms of volume or impact.
Buckley Head Kicks Fialho
Buckley has added another impressive knockout to his resume
after a stoppage of Andre
Fialho in their welterweight bout. “New Mansa” finished the
Bellator veteran with a head kick and one follow-up strike at the
4:15 mark of Round 2, giving him a successful 170-pound debut.
Buckley (16-6, 6-4 UFC), who went viral for his KO of Impa
Kasanganay in October 2020, had lost his previous two Octagon
appearances at middleweight.
Buckley’s performance was characterized by big motions, whether it
was power punches, spinning kicks or explosive takedowns. Though
Buckley’s volume was superior, Fialho did find success landing his
right hand on more than one occasion. The tide turned for good
following a brief pause in the action due to an accidental eye poke
by Buckley. Moments later, Buckley countered a left hook from
Fialho with a perfectly-placed high kick that landed shin on chin.
He then stepped over his fallen foe and connected with one final —
and largely unnecessary — nail in the coffin to clinch his victory.
Fialho (16-7, 1 NC, 2-4 UFC) has lost three straight, all via KO or
Ferreira Starches Johnson
Ferreira’s first UFC appearance since December 2021 was one to
remember. The Fortis MMA standout snapped a three-bout skid with a
brutal second-round knockout of Michael
Johnson in a lightweight clash. Ferreira (18-5, 9-5 UFC) ended
the bout with a
massive overhand right 1:50 into the period. It was
his first victory since Jan. 18, 2020.
Johnson controlled the tempo in the opening stanza, as he flashed
his renowned hand speed by tagging his foe with rapid fire punches
to the head and body. Many of the blows drew a reaction from
Ferreira, whose attempt to take the action to the canvas was
unsuccessful. That ultimately didn’t matter, as Ferreira feinted a
left before connecting with the decisive blow on Johnson’s chin.
“The Menace” was unconscious before he hit the canvas, but Ferreira
nonetheless dove in with one follow-up strike before Herb Dean could
step in to save Johnson from further damage.
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Mackenzie Dern Dominates Angela Hill in UFC Fight Night 223 Main Event