Mackenzie Dern is celebrating her second win in the UFC but there’s no doubt her latest victory was overshadowed by the controversy that surrounded her weigh-in just 24 hours earlier.
On Friday, Dern stepped onto the scale at 123 pounds — a full seven pounds over the strawweight limit —but her opponent Amanda Cooper decided to take the fight anyway. The next night, Dern slammed home a right hand that staggered Cooper before the Brazilian jiu-jitsu champion finished her with a rear naked choke on the ground.
Afterwards, Dern was excited about her win in Brazil but she was bombarded with questions at the post fight press conference about why she missed weight so badly the day before. Unfortunately, Dern has a history of missing weight as she’s failed to make the strawweight limit as many times as she’s actually hit the mark.
“I can tell you 10,000 excuses but I really believe what happened with my weight was way back months ago in my last fight. I think it’s my diet, I need to get my diet right,” Dern explained at the UFC 224 post fight press conference. “The fact that I was able to do it before, I thought I knew what I was doing. A lot of things have been happening, it’s not an excuse. I missed flights and a lot of things happened and I just kept going and going. The UFC, since the first day I got here, were trying to help me and I said I was going to be able to make weight and I didn’t.
“On Friday, at 9 a.m. I wasn’t cutting anymore weight, I was in the sauna and there’s no more water coming out, I wasn’t sweating. I couldn’t walk anymore and the commission said you can’t keep going. Thankfully, Amanda accepted the fight. I’m ashamed at that. I don’t want that to happen again but it’s a mistake. Not that one thing is worse than the other, but I don’t take steroids, I wasn’t popped for anything. There are champions that are caught for drugs and cocaine and things like that. For me it’s a mistake. The UFC is investing in me and I’m going to work with them not to happen ever again.”
“I’m ashamed at that. I don’t want that to happen again but it’s a mistake,” ~ Mackenzie Dern
According to Dern, after her latest weight cutting mishap the UFC contacted her manager and apparently passed along the message that they wanted her to test out the flyweight division, which seems like a more natural home for her.
Dern hopes that doesn’t end up happening but instead she’s promised to work with the UFC Performance Institute in Las Vegas to help her get her weight in check ahead of her next fight.
“My manager said that the UFC would want me to move up in weight. I believe that they won’t,” Dern said. “On Friday, [UFC matchmaker] Mick [Maynard] called me and said we have in institute here in Vegas and we’re going to invest in you, we want you here, we’re going to work with you so I said I’m going to work with you guys. I can’t lose that opportunity to get all this help from this organization that is so big and it’s going to help me make weight.”
More than anything, Dern says she’s just as disappointed in herself as anybody else over her latest weight cutting disaster. That’s why she promises that she’s now going to be dedicated to getting the right help to prepare her for the weight cut the next time around.
“I’m ashamed of it. I don’t want to not make weight but what can I do,” Dern said. “She accepted the fight and I did my best and I can’t let that happen again and that’s what I’m going to do.”
Do you think Mackenzie Dern should be given another shot to fight at strawweight or should the UFC force her to move to flyweight for her next fight?