Mackenzie Dern revealed in an exclusive interview with MMA News that she suffered a knee injury before her main event loss to Marina Rodriguez.
Dern went on to lose to Rodriguez in her first career UFC main event at UFC Vegas 39 last October via a unanimous decision. She was unable to deal with Rodriguez’s boxing or get the fight to the ground by using her signature Jiu-Jitsu.
Dern remains one of the top UFC strawweight prospects heading into her 2022 debut against Tecia Torres at UFC 273. However, it was a hard road back to full health following the knee injury before her fight with Rodriguez.
Dern explained what led to her knee injury in a recent sitdown with MMA News’ James Lynch.
“Yeah, I hurt it on the last sparring before my fight with Marina on Friday [of fight week],” Dern said. “It was more during the fight week, so during fight week it just blew up and it was huge. I couldn’t really do anything, I couldn’t train during fight week, I couldn’t move around too much, I couldn’t put pressure on my knee or anything like that. In the fight, I didn’t feel it or anything like that. Marina did a couple of kicks and it was in the back of my head. She didn’t know about it or anything like that.
“I felt good, I had trained hard and everything like that. But it was a little distraction. All of these things are little distractions and you just gotta learn to block it all out.”
Dern went on to reveal that she underwent knee surgery following the fight with Rodriguez and made a full recovery ahead of this fight camp.
Before the loss to Rodriguez, Dern had won four straight over the likes of Nina Nunes and Virna Jandiroba. She debuted in the UFC back at UFC 222 following successful stints in LFA and Invicta FC.
Dern will look to get back into the strawweight title picture with a win over Torres at UFC 273. Her grappling is arguably the best in the strawweight division and she’s proven to be a matchup nightmare for most contenders.
What is your prediction for Mackenzie Dern vs. Tecia Torres?