Mackenzie Dern returned to winning ways in dominant fashion at UFC Vegas 73 with a dominant display over the gritty Angela Hill.
Dern entered the cage for the first time in 2023 and struck a menacing figure, opening the bout with some heavy pressure and inundating Hill with strikes. Just two minutes in the first round and Hill was sent to the mat after being caught with a sharp right hand but Dern was unable to capitalize on the position and Hill made it through the rest of the round; even fending off a solid armbar attempt with seconds left in the first.
Hill found her most success in the second round, opting to clinch with Dern, whose only way out of the clinches was to throw a flurry of elbows, which she had to twice in order to try and return to the success she found in the first. Although there was no sign of Hill looking to finish the fight in the second, she comfortably took the round and gave Dern plenty to think about moving forward.
The momentum firmly returned to Dern in the third. There has always been concern that the jiu-jitsu specialist had limited game when it came to her striking however that was put to bed following a monstrous knee which sent Hill crashing to the mat. Dern again looked to capitalize on the fight being on the mat following up the knockdown with a barrage of strikes before seamless transitioning to better her position. The rest of the round was much of the same from Dern and with just under 30 seconds left on the clock, she looked to tie up an armbar, but once again Hill managed to survive.
After so much output in the third, you’d be forgiving for thinking that Dern may take her foot off the gas but the No 6 ranked strawweight kept the pressure up on an ever-slowing Hill. Hill’s best work once again came from the clinch early in the round. Dern continued with good work in the striking department throughout the rest of the round and ultimately did enough to take yet another round.
Going into the fifth, Hill knew she needed a finish but the relentless pressure and powerful game plan of Dern prevailed once again, sending the bout to the mat and comfortably controlling Hill for the duration.
It was an impressive return to the cage for Dern, who took the bout via a unanimous decision. Looking forward, she called for her shot against former champion Rose Namajunas.
The rest of the main card delivered some great action, too. In the co-main event, Anthony Hernandez handed Edmen Shabazyan his fourth loss in five fights, stopping the once highly touted prospect in the third round. Joaquin Buckley opened his account at Welterweight in viscous style, adding another head kick knockout to his resume against Andre Fialho in the second. Diego Ferreira melted Michael Johnson with a pinpoint overhand right to get his hand raised in the opening bout of the main card. Lupita Godinez cruised to a unanimous decision victory.
There was plenty of action on the prelim card, most notably Viacheslav Borshchev ending things once again in devastation fashion and adding another TKO victory to his impressive form. The resurgence of Karolina Kowalkiewicz continued with the Polish native taking a unanimous decision victory over Vanessa Demopoulos and picking up her third successive win in the process. Chase Hooper looked a lot more comfortable at his new weight class and on route to his unanimous decision victory over Nick Fiore. Find all of the results from last night’s action below.
UFC Vegas 73: Official results
- Mackenzie Dern def. Angela Hill via unanimous decision (49-43, 49-44, 49-44)
- Anthony Hernandez def Edmen Shahbazyan via TKO (strikes) – Round 3, 1:01
- Loopy Godinez def. Emily Ducote via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- Joaquin Buckley def. Andre Fialho via TKO (head kick) – Round 2, 4:15
- Diego Ferreira def. Michael Johnson via knockout (punch) – Round 2, 1:50
- Viacheslav Borshchev def. Maheshate via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 2:37
- Karolina Kowalkiewicz def. Vanessa Demopoulos via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Gilbert Urbina def. Orion Cosce via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 2:55
- Rodrigo Nascimento def. Ilir Latifi via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Chase Hooper def. Nick Fiore via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
- Natalia Silva def. Victoria Leonardo via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 2:58
- Themba Gorimbo def. Takashi Sato via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Report by Jake Smith