Mackenzie Dern


Returns with first career loss
October 12, 2019
Dern lost to Amanda Ribas via unanimous decision (27-30, 27-30, 27-30) at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Tampa.
Dern has all of eight professional fights under her belt and she had a baby just five months ago, so it's difficult to get on her for a poor effort, but this bout emphasized the concerns surrounding the 26-year-old BJJ wizard. Simply put, Dern is a below-average striker. She doesn't keep her hands up consistently and she struggles with head movement. She has the mat skills to submit any woman on earth, but Dern is going to get picked apart if she is forced to stand and trade for any significant amount of time, and that's what happened on Saturday. Dern is young enough (26 years old) and athletic enough to make the necessary changes to her game, but she's doesn't possess the well-rounded game at the moment to be considered a legitimate threat at 115 or 125 pounds.
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Set to return in October
July 29, 2019
Dern is set to face Amanda Ribas in a strawweight bout at a UFC Fight Night event October 12, Brett Okamoto of ESPN reports.
Dern is set to make her return to the Octagon for the first time since May 2018 after giving birth to her daughter back in May. Dern was undefeated prior to giving birth, so she will look to continue her winning ways. Her opponent, Ribas, made her UFC debut back in June, winning by submission. After a 14-month layoff, the weight cut will be a major factor for Dern, who has had a history of troubles with the scales. The undefeated prospect missed weight by seven pounds the last time she attempted to cut down to the 116-pound strawweight limit, leading many to speculate her next fight would come at flyweight.
Long absence on tap
February 22, 2019
Dern announced Friday on Instagram that she's pregnant but still intends to fight again after giving birth.
It's probably safe to assume Dern won't fight in 2019 and she may also miss a significant portion of 2020 as well. She'll temporarily exit the sport with a record of 7-0 while fighting in the flyweight division.
Opens up about weight cut
May 15, 2018
Dern said Monday on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani that she arrived in Brazil on Tuesday at 139.5 pounds, which nearly resulted in the Brazilian Athletic Commission (CABMMA) pulling her from the fight.
This type of cut isn't necessarily uncommon for the middle divisions, but it's a meaningful percent of body weight when we're talking about cutting to a 116-pound limit. Of course, Dern missed her mark badly at Friday's weigh-in, and had to cough up a significant chunk of her purse as a result. The extra seven-plus pounds certainly helped her on fight night, where she was the larger fighter and defeated Amanda Bobby Cooper in dominant fashion. The bad miss resulted in several calls for Dern to move up to flyweight, though she stated Monday that this is not her current intention. Moving forward, she intends to work with the nutrition consultants at the UFC Performance Institute in Las Vegas to plan and execute a healthier drop to 116 pounds. It's understandable if there are those who doubt the feasibility of this type of cut, but the UFC, knowing they have such a marketable prospect on their hands, appears willing to give her another chance. Dern's ceiling would be significantly limited if she were forced to move up to the 125-pound division.
Submits Amanda Cooper after missing weight Friday
May 12, 2018
Dern defeated Amanda Cooper via submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:27 of Round 1 at UFC 224 on Saturday in Rio de Janeiro.
A brilliant performance by Dern is somewhat muted by the fact that she missed weight by seven pounds on Friday. Some were saying that Dern intentionally came in heavy in order to gain an advantage over Cooper, but she had so much more natural athletic ability than her opponent that that would have been a brain dead move. The knockout and the subsequent RNC that ended the fight were gorgeous, but Cooper is terrible and the weight cutting problem remains an issue moving forward. Dern massive potential is obvious, but she has several things to clean up before she can ever reach it.
Misses weight, will still face Cooper at UFC 224
May 11, 2018
Dern weighed in at 123 pounds -- seven pounds over the strawweight limit -- for her matchup against Amanda Bobby Cooper at UFC 224 on Saturday, Alexander K. Lee of reports.
Despite missing her mark badly, the fight between Dern and Cooper is still scheduled to take place, with Cooper receiving 20 percent of Dern's fight purse. Dern will also be fined an additional 10 percent of her purse by the Brazilian Athletic Commission (CABMMA). The UFC has an incredibly skilled and marketable prospect on their hands, but missing weight by that much is never a good look. It's also not the first time this has happened, as Dern has missed the 116-pound mark on two separate occasions prior to her time in the UFC. A move up to flyweight would certainly limit Dern's ceiling, but may be necessary if she's unable to provide a plausible explanation for this. Meanwhile, Dern remains approximately a (-255) betting favorite for Saturday's matchup against Cooper. Interestingly enough, Mike Bohn of USA Today points out that the five fighters to miss weight and still compete in 2018 are a perfect 5-0.