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09th Aug 2016

Former UFC champion insists Mackenzie Dern will be bigger than Ronda Rousey ever was

Big prediction to make

Darragh Murphy

She may not hold a title anymore but there’s still no doubt that Ronda Rousey remains the biggest name in women’s mixed martial arts.

Rousey broke down barriers for females in the sport, forcing her way into the UFC after president Dana White had insisted that women would never compete in his organisation.

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She became grappling’s answer to Mike Tyson with her ability to put opponents away early, even in spite of their knowledge of exactly what technique Rousey would be searching for.

‘Rowdy’ remains one of the biggest draws in the sport but former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson believes that he’s currently training with the woman capable of eclipsing Rousey’s fame.

Mackenzie Dern is already a superstar in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu circles and made a successful transition to MMA last month when she beat Kenia Rosas in Legacy FC.

Dern, who famously overcame a massive size disadvantage to defeat Gabi Garcia in the Abu Dhabi World Pro open class semi-final in 2015, is backed for big things by everyone at The MMA Lab, including Henderson.

And ‘Smooth’ has recently revealed that he’s confident in Dern’s ability to become the most recognisable female in MMA.

“She will be bigger than Ronda Rousey before Ronda Rousey lost,” Henderson said on The MMA Hour. “She’s going to be huge. She’s going to be big. She has an excellent work ethic.

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“Go look her up, she is a multiple-time jiu-jitsu world champion. She’s won ADCC. She’s won Abu Dhabi. She’s won Worlds. She’s the current No. 1 ranked female jiu-jitsu practitioner on the planet. She has an amazing work ethic. She’s an amazing athlete. She definitely needs to work on her MMA skills, but her ground game is phenomenal. Any woman on the planet goes to the ground with Mackenzie and Mackenzie is going to tap her, or dominate her like she did her first opponent.”

Bold claims from ‘Bendo’ but we’re not questioning them.