For her upcoming UFC Vegas 73 headliner against Angela Hill this Saturday at the APEX, Mackenzie Dern has some more incentive. The 30-year-old ADCC gold winner and world champion in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu discussed some of her struggles with the media before her third main-event match. Dern also discussed some of the things she focused on while in camp, which she claims was a breakthrough in her nearly seven years of fighting professionally.
Mackenzie Dern, motivated by “crazy” divorce
Late in 2022, Mackenzie Dern, who has a daughter with her spouse Wesley Santos, announced their separation in a social media post. Dern stated that she has been unmarried for a “few months” already without going into much detail. She kept quiet about the specifics of her interaction with Santos. Still, she told reporters that “a lot of aggression” was present in the environment, another factor in her decision to enter the battle.
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It has genuinely been wild. My separation was crazy. Coach Parillo was away for a month for Luke’s bare-knuckle bout, saying, “Definitely for this fight, I’m coming with a lot of hostility from my personal life and everything. I have a lot of respect for Angela and nothing personal against her, but I need to finish this.
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— MMA Mania (@mmamania) May 18, 2023
Mackenzie Dern shares her most significant learning as a professional fighter.
Dern has encountered challenges when competing at the highest level, despite her success in MMA due to her skill in the grappling game. She also claims that confronting her setbacks has changed several aspects of her strategy. “This camp mainly was focused on tactics and giving me a fighting perspective I had never experienced before.
I’ve had around ten fights in the UFC, and I’m like, “Man, I just found that out now.” It’s important to realize that if you win each round, you will eventually triumph in the fight. “Rather than thinking… After the round, I would pause for 20 seconds to think, “Did I win that round?” before continuing. As a top 10 fighter like herself, Dern would benefit from finally making these improvements.
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“At this level, whether you end the round in the top five or top ten, you have to know whether you won or lost. You must be leaving the game and confident that you have won. I’m in trouble here. What must I accomplish to win the round? How are the judges viewing things? Dern (12-3) suffered a setback to Yan Xiaonan in October.
Her matchup with Hill was initially scheduled to air last weekend on UFC on ABC 4. The planned headliner of UFC Vegas, 73 between Raquel Pennington and Irene Aldana, had to be canceled after the latter was chosen as the new opponent for Amanda Nunes, so it had to be moved to a week later.
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