Mackenzie Dern was at the start of her divorce proceedings prior to her bout against Yan Xiaonan last October. While Dern lost the bout by majority decision, she now has the opportunity to bounce back from the loss as she's gearing up to face Angela Hill this weekend at UFC Vegas 73.
Dern made headlines after it was revealed that she and her husband, professional wakeboarder Wesley Santos, were getting a divorce. The couple had been married and had a daughter together. The news of their split came as a surprise to many of Dern's fans, who had followed her journey from her early days in jiu-jitsu to her rise in the MMA world.
Mackenzie Dern's fight career took a backseat for her mental fortification when she went through a divorce, a change in management, and a month without her coach, Jason Parillo. Speaking about her loss to Yan Xiaonan in an interview with Fanatics View, Dern stated:
"I think that with Yan, I was so frustrated because with the divorce and everything, I was so focused and I wasn't letting anything get to me. I was so focused on the fight... The fact that I still wasn't able to get it, it really pulled on my heart."
"This fight is actually even worse because, I mean, I don't know for who's been through a divorce, but the beginning of the divorce was a little bit easier than now. Now it's like child support, spouse support, and all these lawyers and all this stuff."
Catch Mackenzie Dern's comments below (5:25):
Dern also acknowledged in the pre-fight media scrum that she needs an effective game plan to overcome the battles she has been facing outside the octagon in order to deliver a strong performance this weekend:
“I feel like so many things are trying to bring me down, like changing managers, the divorce, the gym. There’s so much stuff going on that I don’t want something to take me off my course. To stay on course, I need to have a plan.”
Catch Dern's pre-fight media interview below:
Mackenzie Dern divorce: asserts that she wants to be remembered for her submission accomplishments when she becomes a champion
Mackenzie Dern feels that winning the UFC strawweight championship is not enough for the legacy that she intends to leave in the sport. According to the Brazilian, she desires to be a champion who will be remembered long after she has departed from the sport.
Dern, citing the career of her compatriot Charles Oliveira, stated that she aspires to stack records similar to 'Do Bronx', who currently holds the record for the most submission victories in the organization's history with 16.
Speaking in the aforementioned pre-fight media scrum, Dern stated:
"I want to be the champion.... That's my No.1 goal. But I don't want to be a champion that people are going to forget about. I want to be remembered. That;s why I need to have the most submissions like Charles [Oliveira]."
Catch Dern's comments below: