UFC 273 results: Mackenzie Dern gets split decision win in back-and-forth battle against Tecia Torres


Mackenzie Dern had to battle for all three rounds but she returned to the win column with a hard fought split decision victory over Tecia Torres at UFC 273.

Dern’s second round performance was the most impressive. She threatened Torres with several submissions, but she also hit some strong shots on her feet. Two judges awarded Dern victory with 29-28 points, while Torres was given the exact same 29-28 score by the third official. It was a close decision.

“I’ve always been trying to not pull guard,” Dern said about her grappling in the second round. I thought of that moment today. It was tight. It was very tight. I tried to go for the leg lock. This was an option I could take. Surprise [she escaped].”

There was a lot of aggression from Dern as she threw big looping punches while also attempting to close the distance to look for takedowns to execute her world-class grappling game. Torres was quick on her feet and never allowed herself to be trapped by Dern.

Torres was also displaying great quickness with her hands, putting a lot of pop behind her punches but she still had to be aware of the power coming back from Dern.

As the second round got started, Dern decided to turn to her grappling as she jumped on Torres from the standing position while attempting to pull guard. When Torres didn’t go down, Dern latched onto a kimura and it appeared she might lock up the submission after the fighters finally hit the ground.

Torres was patient and eventually got out. However, Dern continued to attack as she searched for an armbar before moving on to a leglock. Dern was constantly threatening while also throwing backwards elbows as Torres was just holding on to make it to the end of the round.

Dern was looking for another takedown, but Torres put Dern on the floor briefly before Dern countered with an up kick. This knocked the multiple-time champion in grappling off her feet. Torres also managed to unleash a few kicks late but Dern was happy to comeback up top with some hard punches of her own.

It was an extremely difficult fight, particularly after both the first and second rounds had close moments. However, Dern won the win as she gets her career back on track after losing to Marina Rodriguez in the previous bout.

Following the win, Dern said she would like “someone in the top five” for her next opponent, although she noted that most of those fighters are matched up already so she may be waiting for the right opportunity for now.