Mackenzie Dern, a prospect in the strawweight class, is getting ready for her first UFC fight of the year this weekend. The Brazilian jiu-jitsu master who was born in the United States and is currently ranked #8 at 115 pounds hasn’t fought since UFC Vegas 61 last October, when he lost to Yan Xiaonan by a majority decision.
Dern now has a record of 0-2 in main events, which is MMA’s biggest stage. A year earlier, she lost in a similar way to Marina Rodriguez. So, Dern will be trying to win her first main event in the UFC on Saturday, when she faces the experienced Angela Hill inside the Apex facility in Las Vegas. But before her first trip to the cage in 2023, things haven’t always gone well for Dern outside of it.
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How Div0rce Has Impacted Preparation and the Road Ahead?
In a recent interview with Fanatics View, Dern talked about her upcoming role opposite Hill and the long training she’s been doing to get ready for it.
Before she lost to Xiaonan last year, the strawweight from Arizona was in the beginning stages of a div0rce from her previous partner. When asked how much that affected her against the Chinese fighter, Dern said that the lingering problems from the breakup have had a bigger effect on her before f on Saturday.
But even though she was also dealing with personal problems and getting ready for her fight, Dern said that the problems have only made her more determined to do well on May 20.
Mackenzie Dern ready to channel ‘aggression’ from ‘crazy’ div0rce and camp into a win at UFC Vegas 73:
— MMA Mania (@mmamania) May 18, 2023
“I think that with Yan, I was so frustrated because with the div0rce and everything, I was so focused and I wasn’t letting anything get to me. I was so focused on the fight… The fact that I still wasn’t able to get it, it really pulled on my heart,” Dern said. “This fight is actually even worse because, I mean, I don’t know who’s been through a div0rce, but the beginning of the div0rce was a little bit easier than now. Now it’s like child support, spouse support, and all these lawyers and all this stuff.”
“I’m definitely going through a lot more in my personal life for this camp and it hasn’t been easy, for sure. But it just gives you more motivation to go out there and know you’re not gonna let outside stuff stop you accomplishing your dreams or try to pull you back,” Dern continued. “It’s crazy because it’s real things. But like I’ve said before, you never have a perfect camp… This camp has been crazy, but it’s more motivation.”
Dern and Hill have had an extra week to get ready for their fight, which was supposed to happen this past weekend at UFC Charlotte. Irene Aldana was brought in to fight for the title next month, so Saturday’s Apex event didn’t have a main event, so Dern vs. Hill was put off until next month. Both of them will try to take advantage of the unexpected attention by winning their first major event.