This Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Mackenzie Dern will look to rebound from the first loss of her mixed martial arts career.
After tasting defeat for the first time in MMA, the BJJ specialist is undeterred in her pursuit back to the Octagon.
The loss came against rising contender Amanda Ribas at UFC Tampa in October– just four months after Dern gave birth to her daughter,
Dern (7-1) told MMA Junkie, “I think I was ready to go that night. Amanda was better than me on that day, so all the credit to her. If it was an injury, sooner or later I’d have to come back– if I had a knee surgery or whatever– so I think the fact that it was a pregnancy, and people think that a pregnancy is way worse than an injury or something like that, so they think that’s why I lost.”
“Maybe it’s good. People like expected me to win and they really believe in me and believed everything I have to show and I think they are sad, maybe, that I lost. Or, ‘See, the hype train was fake,’ or anything like that. Man, sooner or later I could lose, so for me the fact that it was four months after the pregnancy or during a whole win streak doesn’t make a difference.”
Admittedly, Dern enjoyed the added pressure of being an undefeated fighter but not having an 0 in her record is not something she is going to let get to her head.
Dern told MMA Junkie, “For me, I like being undefeated. I like the pressure. For me, the pressure is like, ‘OK, yeah, everyone is watching, everyone wants me to win, I have to prove them right or prove them wrong.’ The more you’re winning, the more people want to see you get taken down, the more they put you to fight, the more they – ya know, just sponsors and everything … so for me, the loss definitely wasn’t good. I would prefer that this loss come a little bit more in the future, but, hey, it is what it is. It didn’t change too much for me in my mind as a person.”
Dern meets North Carolina’s Hannah Cifers (10-4) on Saturday. With both fighters coming off of losses, it’s Dern that’s seen as the favorite to win at UFC on ESPN 9.
She believes her biggest advantage over Cifers will be her grappling. “Definitely the ground. At least from the fights that I saw, that’s more her weaker spot and obviously that’s my strongest spot so I wanna play in my strongest spot.
“But thankfully she’s such a tough girl, she has a lot of fights in the UFC so I was able to see a lot of her fights because there’s tons of them. I got to see her wining and her losing. I think just trying to take her to the ground. I don’t know how much she’s going to respect my striking or even my ground. I don’t think she’s too scared of that many things, she seems pretty tough in all her fights.”
“I know I need to be careful with her right overhand, its really strong. I’m excited. Take care to not get knocked out and take it to the ground.”
Source: Farrah Hannoun and Danny Segura, MMA Junkie