Mackenzie Dern’s undefeated streak is no more, and the 26-year-old believes that her first loss will serve as a blessing in disguise.
At UFC on ESPN +19, Mackenzie Dern came up short against Amanda Ribas in what was the battle of the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt aces, losing the bout via unanimous decision. This resulted in the first blemish on Dern’s professional MMA record, with the Brazilian now 7-1. This reality is being faced head-on by Dern, with the new mother even leading the charge toward her next fight date:
“It only makes me hungrier to get back in there,” Dern told MMA Fighting about suffering her first loss. “You’re a bit worried when you’re undefeated, (thinking) ‘is this opponent a good fight for me,’ thinking about strategies and whatnot. And now, after you have your first loss, you just want to get in there and fight and take risks.”
Suffering her first career loss has indeed served as a liberator of sorts for Dern, as she believes that now she can fully explore any and all options instead of those deemed safest for her:
“A fight shows up and I’m training, let’s do it. I’ll fight on short notice,” Dern said. “I feel like I can fight better now. I’m hungrier to fight all the time. I want to get in there and do my best and continue to evolve as an athlete and as a fighter. To always choose fights that your coaches think are good for you is good, but being a fighter that fights any type of opponent is tougher. That’s life. You have wins, you have losses, but the plan remains the same: climb the rankings and win the belt. Nothing has changed.
“If God allows me, and I can accept a fight and my husband can stay with my daughter while I take a fight on a month’s notice, I’ll do it,” Dern said. “I’ll be able to fight even more, because I want to get to the belt fast. Now that that zero isn’t there anymore, it’s a bit easier to get fights.”
Whom would you like to see Mackenzie Dern face in her return to The Octagon?