UFC 224 offers a huge opportunity for Amanda Cooper.
The 26-year-old will be going up against Mackenzie Dern at the pay-per-view and a win could catapult Cooper into a strong position in the UFC’s Strawweight division because of two major factors: one, the hype that comes along with Dern and second, the undefeated record that Dern has.
Derailing the hype train and putting an end to Dern’s undefeated run can be a career-making phenomenon for Cooper and she is apparently looking to do just that.
Amanda Cooper: I believe the hype is deserved; she has had a great career in Jiu-Jitsu and fairly new in MMA. It’s a great fight for me to take down the hype and take what I believe she doesn’t need right now. A win against a 6-0 Mackenzie Dern would be great for my career; it’s exactly the fight I wanted at the right time. So beat Mackenzie here in May and then fight a couple more time this year if possible and I will be starting next year off in the top 10.
Cooper is coming into the fight with Dern on the back of a win against Angela Magana, who was another name that rode high on headlines. Magana was all over the news prior to the fight but in the end, Cooper came out on top. Though it was a crucial win for her, Cooper does not see it as her best.
Amanda Cooper: Magana had been fighting for a long time, so it was an easy quick finish that probably didn’t do too well for her but she hadn’t fought in a while and was probably due to be out of the UFC, it was a good fight for me but I don’t credit it as one of my best.
The title hopes
Coming back to Dern, Cooper admits that she had been following Dern even before the BJJ star came into the UFC and this is probably why she is predicting a second-round finish for the fight.
Amanda Cooper: I’ve watched a lot of Dern’s fights even before she was in the UFC. Because she was a big name in Jiu-Jitsu I felt I had to follow her, I have been wanting this fight for a while and I am definitely seeing a finish. I am visualising a second-round TKO.
While she is least concerned about who she fights after the fight with Dern, Cooper is hoping to fight for the Strawweight championship title within a year.
Amanda Cooper: I don’t like to think about my next fights, I just want to fight Dern, beat that girl and then I’ll start looking at other fights. I try not to watch too much of the division because things change very quickly, wins and loses between people. Fight Dern, win and then fight a higher ranked girl. I believe if I keep fighting, I beat Dern and I beat top-ranked girls I’ll be fighting for a title within a year.
Cooper’s whole plan is heavily dependent on her showdown with Dern at UFC 224 and this is why it would be one of the fights to watch out for at the pay-per-view.
UFC 224 will be live and exclusive on SONY ESPN SD and SONY ESPN HD on 13th May 2017 at 7:30 am