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A potential Ultimate Fighting Championship strawweight title eliminator is on tap for a Fight Night main event in October.
ESPN announced on Friday that Marina Rodriguez (14-1-2) will headline the UFC Fight Night card on Oct. 9 against Mackenzie Dern (11-1). The event, which will go down at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, may place the winner in prime position for a future title shot.
Rodriguez’ first UFC main event went her way when she won a decision over Michelle Waterson in May. Rodriguez is riding a two-fight win streak since her first career defeat, which came against Carla Esparza a year ago. In January, the Brazilian smashed fellow countrywoman Amanda Ribas in the second round to earn her first stoppage inside the Octagon. Rodriguez is the only woman in UFC history to fight to a draw on two separate occasions, doing so against Randa Markos in 2018 and then against Cynthia Calvillo in 2019.
Since her own first career loss, a decision setback to Ribas in 2019, Dern has rattled off four victories including three first-round submissions. In her last time out, Dern submitted Nina Nunes in the opening frame. After just seven appearances under the UFC banner, Dern has already set the record for the most first-round submissions of any female fighter in company history, while she is also catching up on Amanda Nunes’ UFC record of the most first-round stoppages among women.
The UFC Fight Night card on Oct. 9 also reportedly gained an intriguing heavyweight matchup between Alexander Romanov and Jared Vanderaa on Friday, per Cageside Press. The event that will be staged inside the UFC Apex in Las Vegas sports a featherweight clash between Chris Gutierrez and Felipe Dias Colares, as well as a middleweight battle between Laureano Staropoli and Jamie Pickett.