Mackenzie Dern can trust in her new coach Jason Parillo to move her further up the strawweight division with improved striking, and already knows when he is misleading her during the fight to keep her focused.
Dern (no. 11) looked superb during the fight with Virna Jandiroba and got the win by unanimous decision. The fight was billed as two grapplers but it was their striking that caught the world's attention. Dern has enlisted the help of veteran Parillo to add to her phenomenal Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu skills, and the hard work was there for the world to see at UFC 256. The fight wasn't without adversity for Dern as she suffered a suspected broken nose.
“I don’t think I’ve ever really got a lot of blood in a fight before, so when I got it, it didn’t hurt too bad, I just heard the sound. But when I started to see all the blood, I thought, ‘OK, maybe it’s a cut." Dern said in the post-fight press conference (h/t MMA Junkie). "I’m praying it’s a cut! Then in the corner, I asked my coach, ‘Is it broken?’ and I think he said, ‘Oh, no! It’s OK! It’s just a cut!’ and I thought, ‘OK, I know my coach. It’s probably broken!'”
This was a very savvy performance by Dern. She will be hoping to get a fight with one of the top contenders in the strawweight division as she is on a three-fight win streak in 2020. Dern has shown a renewed focus since coming back only four months after giving birth to her daughter in a losing effort to Amanda Ribas four fights ago. With Parillo in her corner and her BJJ game one of the scariest in the division, it won't be long till Dern gets her way into the top 10 of the strawweight division.