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Mackenzie Dern stays undefeated, shows striking improvements at LFA 6

Matthew Wells

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Legacy Fighting Alliance 6 played home to one of MMA’s brightest stars, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu standout, Mackenzie Dern as she took on Katherine Roy on the main card.

Known as a wizard on the mat, Dern’s grappling ability among the highest levels of the sport, thanks to her BJJ lineage. With her standup game still a work in progress, Dern’s abilities on the feet are improving with each outing.

On Saturday night against Roy, Dern did her best to keep her undefeated record intact, while searching for her second professional victory via submission.

Roy proved she would not be an easy competitor to take to the mat early on, forcing Dern to utilize her striking skills to score on the judge’s cards. With noticeable improvements since her previous outing, Dern looked more comfortable trading punches with her opponent.

However, the second round took place in Dern’s world, as she was able to get her opponent to the mat and work her way to full mount. From there, Dern would rain down hard ground and pound strikes while Roy did her best to fend off the damage. Towards the end of the round, Dern gave up the full mount to transition to a triangle submission but was unable to secure a tap.

The third and final round was perhaps the most competitive round with Roy ensuring she kept the fight standing. In doing so, Roy was able to land a few clean strikes on Dern until she was eventually taken down. Once the fight hit the mat, Roy did her best to lock up Dern to prevent damage. Ultimately, time would expire with Dern in a favorable position, all but securing the victory on the evening.

The judges rendered their decision for Dern to the tune of 30-27, 30-27, and 29-28.

Dern, who missed the originally contracted weight of 115 pounds, must figure out if strawweight will be her home, or if a move to 125 pounds is necessary for the future.

Now sitting at 3-0 in her professional career, Dern is showing the ability to improve with each outing, not only in the striking department but her patience on the ground as well.

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Interviews

Exclusive: Gilbert Smith issues statement after retirement fight

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On Friday, September 8th, Gilbert Smith competed for the last time in his professional mixed martial arts career. Smith ended his career by beating, his last minute opponent, Benjamin Smith by guillotine choke in the second round. The fight was Smith’s 19th professional fight and marked his 13th career win and 8th win by submission.

Gilbert had previously competed on TUF 17, the season was coached by Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen back in 2012 (although the show aired in 2013) and TUF 25. After losing to Dhiego Lima he announced on the show that he would be retiring. “Chocolate Thunder” later came back on his decision to retire. Ending his career on a high note at LFA on Friday.

Speaking with MMA Latest, Smith had this to say about the fight and his retirement:

“My retirement was, my last fight, was the perfect situation. It was the perfect fight, the perfect outcome, now I have the opportunity to go out the way I wanted to go out. With my team, my coaches, my friends, and my family around me. It was just a really beautiful moment and I’m glad that it’s done, I’m glad that I won, and now I get to move on with my life.”

The powerful wrestler ends his career having fought in some of the biggest organizations in MMA, and facing some of the biggest names in the sport. Smith’s retirement will be spent focusing on his gym and helping out some of the younger fighters.

“Just focus on my gym, be focused on building the next champion, and enjoy life a little bit without having to get punched in the face.”

The MMA world will remember Smith as a passionate, intelligent, and powerful fighter who competed twice on TUF, fought at Bellator and ended his career with a win against arch rival Benjamin Smith at LFA 22.

MMA Latest would like to thank Gilbert Smith for time, following his retirement.

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LFA

LFA 20: Bobby ‘The Wolfman’ Moffett to face ‘Nasty’ Nate Jennerman in Featherweight Co-Main

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By: Thomas Vickers (MMA – Journalist)

(Prior Lake, Minnesota) Legacy Fighting Alliance 20 (LFA 20) comes to Mystic Lake Casino in Prior Lake, Minnesota August 25, 2017 for an action packed pro-MMA card.  The main event looks to be an entertaining welterweight match up between Chad Curry (9 – 1) and Nick Barnes (11 – 2).  Curry is a veteran of LFA and Resurrection Fighting Alliance (RFA).  Barnes has fight experience with Bellator and RFA.

The main event has all the ingredients needed for a fireworks show. however it is the co-main event that seems to have gained the attention of the loyal LFA fans.

The co-main event features Bobby ‘The Wolfman’ Moffett squaring off against ‘Nasty’ Nate Jennerman in a critical featherweight contest.  Moffett and Jennerman are considered to be two of LFA’s top featherweight contenders.  These two featherweight standouts will be battling for the top position in the division, with the winner most likely landing an opportunity to fight for the LFA’s featherweight title.  Moffett trains at the MMA Lab in Glendale, Arizona.  He is coming off a December 2016 split decision victory over T.J. Brown at Resurrection Fighting Alliance 46 (RFA 46).  ‘The Wolfman’ is hungry and hunting for his tenth win as a professional.

“We are shooting for a title fight with Aguilar,” explains Rick Guerrero of Mata Leon Management.  Rick clearly understands the high risk and importance of the fight.  As Moffett’s manager Guerrero assures MMA Latest News, “The Wolfman will be bringing it.”

A win over Jennerman would move Moffett closer to a shot at the current reigning LFA featherweight champion, Kevin ‘The Angel of Death’ Aguilar.  Moffett hosts a (9 – 2) professional MMA record.  He is a determined featherweight who brings to the cage a quality grappling game and top level jiu jitsu skills.

Nate Jennerman is on a four fight win streak.  Nate trains out of Roufusport in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and has a pro-record of (9 – 2).  He is said to be a 145 pound competitor who has proven himself to be one of the most exciting up and coming fighters in the Midwest.  The Sheboygen, Wisconsin native has won six of his nine victories by way of submission. Jennerman’s last fight was a May 2017 win over Damien Hill.  Jennerman finished Hill by way of submission via guillotine choke in the first round.

Legacy Fighting Alliance is an American mixed martial arts promotion that continues to expand in popularity.  LFA is the outcome of a merger between Legacy Fighting Championship and Resurrection Fighting Alliance in 2017.  Notable fighters that have fought for the promotion include UFC’s Sage Northcutt and Holly Holm.

LFA 20’s fight card is as follows:

  • Main Event / Welterweight Bout (170 lb)
    • Chad ‘Blitz’ Curry (9 – 1) vs Nick ‘The Phoenix’ Barnes (11 – 2)
  • Co-Main Event / Featherweight Bout (145 lb)
    • Bobby ‘The Wolfman’ Moffett (9 – 2) vs ‘Nasty’ Nate Jennerman (9 – 2)
  • Lightweight Bout (155 lb)
    • Travis Perzynski (21 – 9) vs Carl Wittstock (9 – 1)
  • Women’s Flyweight Bout (125 lb)
    • Kelly ‘Blood Red’ Kobold (18 – 3 – 1) vs Christine ‘Knuckles’ Stanley (5 – 3)
  • Lightweight Bout (155 lb)
    • Jeff Peterson (7 – 4) vs Brandon Jenkins (10 – 4)
  • Bantamweight Bout (135 lb)
    • Mitch White (3 – 1) vs Jesse Wannemacher (3 – 1)
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Interviews

Former Legacy Fights Light-Heavyweight Champion Myron Dennis looks to continue career at LFA 9

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Former Legacy Fights Light-Heavyweight Champion Myron “The Future” Dennis seeks to work his way to the top of professional mixed martial arts in LFA 9 in a bout against a game competitor, Danilo Marques. The event takes place Friday, April 14, at Firelake Arena in Shawnee, Oklahoma.

Dennis, with a professional record of 12-5-0, starred on season 23 of UFC tv show The Ultimate Fighter under UFC Strawweight Champion Joana Jedrzejczyk. In an interview with MMA Latest, Dennis discussed his fighting career up to this point, as well as the fight camp that has brought him to LFA 9.

Dennis began MMA in 2008, at the age of 19, seeking simply to get in shape. In searching for a gym, he found the Academy of Martial Arts out of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and began training under Coach Kentrick Coleman. He began his amateur kickboxing career after only two months of training, stating, “even if you don’t make it, I encourage everyone to try it out.”

After spending the next few years fighting for a number of organizations, Dennis’ career took a turn as he stepped onto the set of TUF 23; an experience he describes as “one of the biggest moves of [his] career. Dennis trained under Joana Jedrzejczyk who he described as “an awesome coach inside and out of the gym,” stating that she brought in a number of high-level coaches, financial advisors, nutritionists and training partners who all contributed to the fighter he is today.

When asked about his biggest concern coming into LFA 9, Dennis says he was not in the best shape in his last fight at heavyweight and he wanted to focus primarily on not only getting to compete at 205lbs. but also on getting into the best possible shape. In preparing for the bout, Dennis said he incorporated a lot from what he learned from Jedrzejczyk’s nutritionists as he had just eight short weeks to cut from 248lbs. Dennis said, “I had to sacrifice a lot and I believe it has paid off.”

When asked about what his bout on LFA 9 meant for his MMA career, Dennis stated:

“I’m making my debut in the official college league of MMA. I want to grind it out in this promotion and develop as an athlete/entertainer.”

Dennis also mentioned his older brother Demoreo Dennis will also be fighting, the first time the two have been on the same card. Demoreo, referenced by Dennis as a “monster for the heavyweight division,” will face RFA: Resurrection Fighting Alliance veteran Dontale “King Kong” Mayes.

When asked about the future of his career, Dennis stated, “I’m signed up for battle my crew OKC (a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competition hosted by BJJ Black Belt Omar French that serves to “Fight for Autism”). I want to get straight into a BJJ camp and extend my knowledge. I would also like to gain more kickboxing fights because I feel that’s where you’ll see me shine most.”

In closing, Dennis stated:

“My advice for any fighter is to not worry about losing or winning. Go in there knowing you’re gonna’ get hit and on your butt at some point. You never truly know what you’re gonna get until fight night. Just go in there and be proactive. Don’t wait for something to happen. Make it happen. You can’t make a highlight reel with your foot on the brake.”

LFA 9 airs on AXS-TV beginning at 9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT.

For more news on upcoming events, stay tuned to mmalatestnews.com.


Photography by Randy Carr.

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