Mackenzie Dern has newfound fire in her MMA career but she never considered hanging up her gloves.
Dern is closing in on a UFC Strawweight Title opportunity. She is the number four-ranked UFC 115-pounder and will meet the sixth-ranked Marina Rodriguez this Saturday (Oct. 9). A win here could thrust her into a number one contender bout.
When Mackenzie Dern first began her MMA journey, she was under a microscope. Many criticized Dern for her weight-cutting issues. It got to the point where people even questioned whether or not she was in it for the long haul.
During an appearance on The MMA Hour, Dern told Ariel Helwani that she never thought about packing it in early.
“No, no, no. I never had a problem getting punched in the face. I always liked to do it. I was always kind of brought up with that aggression in me. I was having fun and I was kind of liking all the attention. I would go to Brazil and just party. ‘Oh I just won a UFC fight,’ you’re getting kind of famous. So, I was having fun, I was liking it.
“As soon as I became pregnant I saw like, ‘okay, lost the sponsors.’ Everyone just kind of basically left you. Kind of gave up on you like, ‘oh you’re not gonna come back.'”
Dern’s resilience has paid off but she may have not even reached her peak. A win over Rodriguez would do wonders for Dern’s title aspirations. We won’t have to wait long to find out if she’ll move closer to her dream or fall behind a step or two.