UFC Vegas 73: Dern vs. Hill Main Event Prediction
UFC VEGAS 73: DERN VS. HILL MAIN EVENT PREDICTION – UFC Vegas 73 was originally scheduled to be a #1 contender’s fight for the women’s bantamweight title, but after Julianna Pena was forced out of her fight the UFC replaced her with part of this main event and took Irene Aldana. Aldana’s original opponent, Raquel Pennington, will now be on standby in case Aldana or Nunes are unable to make the date. Thus, the UFC shifted Mackenzie Dern and Angela Hill to this main event slot, given both of their resumes and experience in previous headlining acts.
Dern is hoping third time is the charm as she has gone 0-2 in her previous main event appearances.
Hill looks to extend her winning streak to three and pull off her third straight upset.
Will the Brazilian jiu jitsu ace submit another foe? Or will ‘Overkill’ successfully keep this fight upright and outpoint Dern to another win? Read on to see how these strawweights match up and if there is a juicy enough line to take advantage of.
At her best, Dern can corral her opponent into a bad position that allows her to get the fight to the ground. She has an abysmal 11% takedown accuracy rate through her UFC career, but there are fights that she can still get the ground position she needs even without takedowns. Her striking is coming along well, but it’s still far from being at a level that can see her compete against the top of the division in that realm.
She solely needs to rely on her toughness, durability, and ability to ground fights if she hopes to get her hand raised. As unsuccessful as she has been with takedowns, she is determined to do any and everything to get fights to the mat, and for that we need to give her credit. Hopefully she continues working on the other mechanics of MMA that will allow her to get fights to the mat easier rather than taking a bunch of damage and being unsuccessful.
There have been many times that people want to write off Angela Hill and say that she is done, I am guilty of it too. However, here she is, on a two-fight winning streak after dropping her previous three. She hadn’t had the best of runs during this covid era as she started it with an abysmal 1-5. That made her an underdog in her last two fights, and she was able to buck the trend.
Her volume-based muay thai striking style has paid off for her, allowing her to out-point and batter her opponents on the feet on route to decision victories. She landed a whopping 182 significant strikes in her last fight that only went 15 minutes. To put it into perspective, she landed 131 significant strikes in her other lone main event appearance.
Still Something to Prove
At 38 years old, Hill still feels she has a lot to prove to fans and show that her 15-12 record is not a good representation of her skill level. She was the former Invicta FC champion before making her way back to the UFC. Although she hasn’t been close to title contention in the UFC, she has always been lingering in that top 10-15 area.
She’s a tough out for most prospects looking to break into the top 10. She either staves them off or they can surpass her and go on to do great things. She is still very much a threat at this point in her career and it’s always a treat watching her put her high action striking style to use.
Out of all the fights on the entire card, I feel least confident in this fight so take this advice with a grain of salt. Pre-fight I feel this fight is a coin flip, maybe Dern as the slight favorite. In hindsight, either woman can look -300.
Whether it’s Dern stumbling her way into top position and finding a submission, or Hill utilizing her volume, striking, feints, and footwork to stay away from the grasp of Dern to out-point her.
I lean with the latter due to the odds being a tad off in my opinion. We saw in Hill’s last couple of fights that she can successfully keep fights in the upright position simply with feinting the uppercut and knee up the middle to scare her opponent from changing level and dropping for a takedown.
If she can instill that same fear into Dern, she could enjoy a vast amount of time on the feet being the far superior striker. She may even be able to finish Dern given the advantage she has in that realm.
I’ll lean with the striker here ever so slightly, but I wouldn’t mind a Dern via submission hedge just to cover my rear.
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