UFC Fight Night 194: Dern vs. Rodriguez Odds, Schedule, Predictions

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistOctober 9, 2021

UFC Fight Night 194: Dern vs. Rodriguez Odds, Schedule, Predictions

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    A new contender will emerge in the women's strawweight division at UFC Fight Night 194 from the APEX Facility in Las Vegas. Rising players in the division Mackenzie Dern and Marina Rodriguez are set to meet in the main event. 

    Dern comes into the bout riding a four-fight win streak after suffering her first and only defeat in October 2019. The submission specialist has drawn the tap from three of her last four opponents and will look to do the same to Rodriguez. 

    Rodriguez has just one defeat on her record as well, a split-decision loss to Carla Esparza in July 2020. However, she has rebounded nicely with back-to-back wins over Amanda Ribas and Michelle Waterson. 

    Elsewhere on the card, Randy Brown and Jared Gooden will meet in a clash of welterweight prospects. Here's a look at the complete schedule with odds and a preview of the three biggest fights on the card.

Fight Card, Schedule and Odds

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    Main Card (ESPN+, 4 p.m. ET)

    • Mackenzie Dern (-195, bet $195 to win $100) vs. Marina Rodriguez (+165, bet $100 to win $165)
    • Randy Brown (-255) vs. Jared Gooden (+205)
    • Tim Elliott (+160) vs. Matheus Nicolau (-190)
    • Mariya Agapova (+160) vs. Sabina Mazo (-190)
    • Felipe Colares (+190) vs. Chris Gutierrez (-235)

    Prelims (ESPN+, 2 p.m. ET)

    • Alexandr Romanov (-550) vs. Jared Vanderaa (+400)
    • Damon Jackson (-190) vs. Charles Rosa (+160)
    • Loopy Godinez (-320) vs. Silvana Juarez (+250)
    • Steve Garcia (-335) vs. Charlie Ontiveros (+260)

    Odds via DraftKings Sportbook

Dern vs. Rodriguez

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    Dern and Rodriguez find themselves in similar spots in their careers, but they arrived here in different ways. 

    Dern is a one-dimensional fighter who happens to be very good at that one dimension. Her jiu-jitsu and submission game is a threat to anyone on the mat with her. She's a skilled grappler with a strong resume in jiu-jitsu, including a gold medal at the 2015 ADCC World Championships. 

    She's successfully translated that into the cage. She has multiple armbar wins but can also sink in chokes. In short, it wouldn't be a shock if she wins this one by submission. 

    Rodriguez, on the other hand, is a little more well-rounded. She averages 4.89 significant strikes per minute while landing 48 percent of her strikes, per UFC Stats, and has enough wrestling to get by if it isn't a great area of strength for her opponent. 

    She has had issues with takedown defense in the past. Carla Esparza took her down five times when they met. 

    However, that isn't likely to be an issue against Dern, who is not a strong takedown artist. 

    Her striking should be enough to keep Dern at a distance and out of harm's way. 

    Prediction: Rodriguez via decision

Brown vs. Gooden

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    The co-main event may leave a lot to be desired in terms of stakes, but it profiles as a fun fight. 

    Brown has shown plenty of potential, but he just can't seem to get over the hump of quality competition. A submission win over Alex Oliveira was a step in the right direction to correcting that, but there are definitely bigger challenges ahead. 

    Gooden doesn't have the same ceiling. The odds are a strong indicator of that. What he does seem to have is an endless supply of aggression. 

    Gooden has never met an exchange he isn't willing to get into. He's a volume striker with little to no defense. It's not a good plan for long-term success, but it will certainly keep opening the doors to multiple opportunities for himself. 

    Brown is nothing if not a finisher. He has six knockouts and five submissions in his 13 career wins. Gooden is a reckless striker with 14 of his 18 wins coming by either knockout or submission. 

    Prediction: Brown via second-round TKO

Elliott vs. Nicolau

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    Tim Elliott is never going to fight for the title at flyweight. He is, however, a competitor for Fight of the Night every time he steps in the cage. Matheus Nicolau is going to get the opportunity to show his ceiling is higher than that on the main card. 

    The 34-year-old Elliott has been a wildcard in the flyweight division in the UFC. He's had two stints in the organization in which he has hovered around a .500 mark most of the time. Right now, he's coming off back-to-back wins. Before that, it was three losses in a row to tough opponents in Brandon Royval, Askar Askarov and Deiveson Figueiredo. 

    Elliott excels in scrambles and brings enough striking to the table to win a decision. 

    Conversely, Nicolau is just starting his second stint with the organization and could have a higher ceiling. The first time around he went 3-1 in the bantamweight division with a first-round knockout loss to Dustin Ortiz representing his final fight with the organization. 

    He returned as a flyweight and looked strong in a split-decision win over Manel Kape. 

    Elliott is likely to employ a wrestling-centric game plan to create scrambles where he thrives. However, Nicolau is the better striker and should be able to counter him regularly enough to ultimately take the decision. 

    Prediction: Nicolau via decision

          

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