UFC 256: Mackenzie Dern Cites Chito Vera, Luke Rockhold as Inspirations

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Las Vegas, NV — Mackenzie Dern showed the development of her all-around MMA skillset at UFC 256 on Saturday. Looking strong on the feet against Virna Jandiroba, Dern battled her way to a decision win in what might have been the Fight of the Night, had Figueiredo vs. Moreno not happened a few bouts later.

Following the victory, Dern (10-1), sporting a potentially broken nose, told media outlets that the win made things better. She thought the fight itself “was good, I think I showed a lot of heart.” While Dern has a lot of quick submissions under her belt, she was happy to show that her cardio was strong as well.

“I never actually even got a lot of blood in a fight before,” Dern said of her injury. She heard the nose break, but hoped that “maybe it’s a cut. I’m praying that it’s a cut.” Between rounds, she asked her coach if it was broken, and he insisted it was just a cut. “I know my coach. It was probably broken,” she said with a laugh.

With a 3-0 record inside the octagon in 2020, Mackenzie Dern has now successfully rebounded from the first loss of her career, against Amanda Ribas last year. She actually credits the cornavirus pandemic in part for that. It helped a lot, “because you stay at home, you can’t travel, you can’t do anything. Staying at home having nothing to do, it’s ‘let’s go train, let’s go train.'” Teammates like Chito Vera and Luke Rockhold help with that as well.

“I want to be like them — a champion,” Dern added. Dern joined AKA (American Kickboxing Academy) only recently. It’s a vast difference from her old teams, Black House and the MMA Lab, where she said she was trying to fight both her coaches and herself, mentally. Dern was also playing catch-up after taking time off while pregnant. “I know I needed to catch up with the girls that had kind of passed me. Now I definitely feel like I’m caught up, and I’m trying to put my spot in the top ten and become a title contender.”

Watch the full UFC 256 post-fight press conference with Mackenzie Dern above.

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