UPDATE: Mackenzie Dern has been tapped to make her long-awaited UFC debut against Ultimate Fighter alum Ashley Yoder in a strawweight matchup at UFC 222 in Las Vegas on March 3, as first reported by MMAFighting.
Competing under the UFC banner is a goal Mackenzie Dern has been pursuing since she first stepped foot into a cage, and it looks like her dream will come true in 2018.
During an interview with Forrest Griffin for the Metro PCS pre-show for UFC 219, matchmaker Sean Shelby revealed the grappling ace will be competing inside the Octagon this year. Shelby did not have a set timeframe for Dern's debut, but he did confirm her first showing would come early in the year.
One concrete piece of information Shelby did offer was in regard to the weight class in which Dern will be competing.
Despite her highly publicized battles with the scale, the undefeated Arizona native will fight in the women's strawweight division. After several bouts where she missed the mark, Dern successfully made the 116-pound limit for her most recent fight against Kaline Medeiros under the Invicta banner last month in Kansas City.
Dern latched onto an armbar in the third round and forced Medeiros to tap, which brought her record to a perfect 5-0.