Rankings Review: Mackenzie Dern moves up with impressive win

Rankings Review: Mackenzie Dern moves up with impressive win

It might be an understatement to say the UFC rankings are questionable. You would expect rankings to be questionable as they are subjective; however, in this Rankings Review column, I will point out rankings that I think are glaring mistakes. I will also analyze significant movement in the rankings that I agree with.

Editorial Commentary by Peter Parsons

Mackenzie Dern had a dominant performance over No. 14 ranked UFC strawweight Angela Hill on Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, NV.  The win put the third degree brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt up one spot in the UFC women’s strawweight rankings to No. 7.

Mackenzie Dern ranked No. 7 in UFC strawweight rankings

Dern’s victory over Hill on Saturday put the 30-year-old ahead of Marina Rodriguez, a fighter she lost to less than two years ago.  However, it did not put her ahead of Virna Jandiroba, a fighter she defeated two and a half years ago.  This does make sense because Jandiroba defeated Rodriguez at UFC 288 earlier this month.  This can be a tricky rankings situation when fighter A beats fighter B, fighter B beats fighter C and fighter C beats fighter A.  Where Dern beat Jandiroba, Jandiroba beat Rodriguez and Rodriguez beat Dern, it comes down to their full UFC body of work.

I agree with Rodriguez being ranked No. 8 because she has fallen on hard times as of late with back-to-back losses to Jandiroba and Amanda Lemos.  So, it comes down to who should be No. 6 and No. 7 between Dern and Jandiroba.  The two Brazilians are both coming off recent wins over ranked opponents.

Other than Rodriguez, they do have two other common opponents in Amanda Ribas and Angela Hill.  They both lost unanimous decisions to Ribas.  They both won unanimous decisions over the veteran Hill; however, Dern’s was more dominant.  Dern won 49-44 X 2 and 49-43, scoring multiple 10-8 rounds.

Dern is 8-3 in the UFC and Jandiroba is 5-3 in the UFC.  Their three losses each were to ranked opponents.  Dern lost to Amanda Ribas, Marina Rodriguez and Yan Xiaonon.  Jandiroba lost to Carla Esparza, Mackanzie Dern and Amanda Ribas.

The key factor for me that separates the two is that Dern has four victories over ranked opponents and Jandiroba has two.  Jandiroba’s victories over ranked opponents were against Angela Hill and Marina Rodriguez.  Dern’s victories over ranked opponents were against Virna Jandiroba, Nina Nunes, Tecia Torres, and Angela Hill.

The final factor I’ll mention is that how you get it done matters.  Dern has four finishes in the UFC, all by submission.  Jandiroba has two finishes, one by TKO and one by submission.  I know Dern has more fights and wins in the UFC, but Dern’s finishing rate is 50 percent and Jandiroba’s is 40 percent.

In her post fight octagon interview on Saturday, Dern respectfully called out Rose Namajunas.

Jandiroba already has her next fight set against undefeated Tatiana Suarez on August 5.  With a win over the highly regarded Suarez, Jandiroba would likely put herself in the top 5.

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Upcoming Notable UFC Strawweight Fights

  • June 24 – Gillian Robertson vs. (15) Tabatha Ricci
  • July 8 – Denise Gomes vs. Yazmin Juaregui
  • Aug 5 – (7) Virna Jandiroba vs. (10) Tatiana Suarez
  • Aug 19 – (4) Amanda Lemos vs. (C) Zhang Weili

Rankings Review and why rankings matter

My rankings would look different than any other writer or fan who follows the sport closely.  This is to be expected, as rankings are subjective.  Rankings should be based primarily on results and not perceived potential or popularity.

Some people think rankings do not matter.  Rankings do matter.  They matter when it comes to matchmaking.  They matter when it comes to contract negotiations.

Let’s keep the rankings conversation going. Do you agree or disagree with the above Ranking Review? Express your thoughts in the comments below.

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