Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Mackenzie Dern: You Don’t Have To Give Birth To Be A Mom Champ

UFC women’s strawweight contender Mackenzie Dern has given her take on bantamweight champion Julianna Peña‘s past comments on motherhood.

At UFC 269, Amanda Nunes put her 135-pound gold on the line against “The Venezuelan Vixen.” In and around fight week was the presence of two little ones. While the Brazilian became a mom after her wife Nina Nunes gave birth to daughter Raegan in 2020, Peña brought her daughter into the world two years prior in 2018.

After shocking the world with her performance at the final pay-per-view of 2021, the newly-crowned bantamweight queen shocked a few more with some of her post-fight remarks. She claimed that, owing to the fact she gave birth to her child, she deserves the title of “first mom champ,” rather than the defeated Nunes.

In a recent exclusive interview with MMA News, Dern, who became a mother herself in 2019, provided her thoughts on her UFC peer’s controversial comments.

Dern: I Disagree With Peña, But Understand Her Take

After making the statement, Peña drew widespread criticism, with Nunes even suggesting her rival has to be more aware when addressing the sensitive topic of motherhood and the alternate methods to pregnancy.

Like many, Dern, the current #5-ranked 115-pound contender, disagrees with the idea a fighter can only become a ‘mom champ’ if she’s given birth.

Nevertheless, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist told MMA News she understands where Peña is coming from, and identified some of the benefits that could come for those who didn’t go through pregnancy and delivery.

“I think each family is different,” said Dern. “I don’t think that actually giving birth is what makes the mom champ, you know what I mean? Because, I mean, the guys, they have tons of guys, men, that dedicate a lot of time with their kids and all things like that. But also, too, they have the guys that have the moms, the wives, that’s been kinda help(ing) with their career, their training, and the guys can just focus on training, and they have the wife that helps them out and can just take care of the kids for them, and be that support team for them.

“I don’t know. I don’t really agree with the whole, ‘Oh, because they’re giving birth, they’re the mom champ.’ But, I mean, I understand what she’s trying to say,” concluded Dern.

It is worth noting that Peña later clarified her remarks and has since stated that Amanda Nunes is indeed a true mom champ.

As well as discussing Peña’s comments on motherhood, Dern also touched on topics like her recent knee injury, her upcoming return to action at UFC 273 against Tecia Torres, and the impending return of former champion Joanna Jędrzejczyk during her interview with MMA News.

Since returning from her maternity break, Dern has shot back into contention. After suffering her first setback in professional MMA at the hands of Amanda Ribas, the 28-year-old won four straight bouts, three of which ended via first-round submission.

Having dropped her last contest to Marina Rodriguez, Dern will be hoping to return to the win column and the title conversation when she enters the Octagon for the first time in 2022. In her way of doing so will be Tecia Torres, who has had an impressive resurgence in recent times.

Given that she’s on the right side of 30, Dern will be hoping to join the club of mom champs in the coming years, a pursuit that will first have to get through a certain “Tiny Tornado.”

Do you agree with Mackenzie Dern?

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