Marina Rodriguez says she has studied Mackenzie Dern for over a year

Marina Rodriguez has been anticipating a fight with Mackenzie Dern for quite sometime.

Marina Rodriguez and Mackenzie Dern will finally settle their differences in the Octagon Saturday afternoon. At UFC Vegas 39, which airs exclusively on ESPN+, and like all Fight Night shows, will take place at the UFC APEX, features a battle of two strawweight lobbying for position as a future title challenger. For Rodriguez, this isn’t just another fight.

Rodriguez has been anticipating a Dern match-up for over a year, A winner of two-straight, as her most recent win came via unanimous decision against Michelle Waterson in May, Rodriguez now sits at 11-1 and recognizes the magnitude of what’s at-stake in the main event.

At her pre-fight media scrum, Rodriguez touched on her preparation and how focused she is going into the highly-anticipated bout.

“Yeah, for about a year, she has been doing very well,” Rodriguez said via translation. “As she was going up in the rankings, there was a very good chance that we might cross paths, so, she has been on our radar for a little bit and we’ve been studying her for quite a long time too.”

Marina Rodriguez feels that her style differs from Mackenzie Dern.

Rodriguez also feels that the fight is evenly matched, though both women bring in different skills that one may have not seen from the other.

“For sure, it will be a war of styles,” Rodriguez explained. “She comes from jiu-jitsu. I come from Muay Thai. Of course, we all strive to be complete fighters. I’ve been working on my ground game since I first had the idea of becoming an MMA fighter. Of course, I won’t reach the amount of time Mackenzie has invested in jiu-jitsu. Likewise, she won’t match my Muay Thai experience. I’m confident she’s focusing on her standup, with the goal of taking me down.”

A win for Rodriguez will put her at 3-0 since a loss to Waterson, but only time will tell.

UFC Vegas 39 takes place on Saturday, Oct. 9, live from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, NV. Follow along with FanSided MMA who will be on-site for all your news and highlights.