UFC: Mackenzie Dern Explains Why Having Dominant Champ Like Zhang Weili Is Beneficial

For UFC strawweight Mackenzie Dern, there are some definite benefits to having a dominant champ like Zhang Weili ruling her division.

“A hundred percent,” Dern (13-5) told Cageside Press recently. “Of course people want to see the who can take down the person who’s winning everything. For us trying to get there, it’s so great when you can keep studying and see. Sometimes you learn just by fighting against that person, but when the person’s so dominant, you can see them fighting so many different people and people trying different things and different styles, and you’re seeing which things- that experiment behind it.”

Plus, noted Dern, “once you find a real love for the sport, you just love watching the fights.”

“For me it’s really good to have such a dominant [champion],” Dern continued. “It’s like when Joanna [Jedrzejczyk] was champ, ‘who’s going to take out Joanna?’ Now we have Zhang Weili. It’s really exciting, I’m definitely studying, I know Zhang Weili’s jiu-jitsu coach so I know what kind of ground game she has, I know kind of behind it. But beasts. They’re all beasts out there.”

Speaking of ground game, that is of course what Mackenzie Dern is best known for. And lest you’ve forgotten, she intends to take part in this year’s ADCC. That she confirmed to Cageside Press, noting that ADCC style grappling is close to the style found in mixed martial arts.

“I really wanted to, not like come back full time jiu-jitsu or anything like that. But kind of just wanted to- I really feel like ADCC, I won in 2015, it’s very similar, the grappling style, to MMA,” explained Dern. “No Gi, submission oriented. No time limit, there’s a time limit but it’s like 40 minutes so we have way more. I didn’t want to do a super-fight, I kind of wanted to get back in with a new generation of girls and see how I do with them. Yeah it’s kind of something I could do even when I was still focused on UFC and MMA and everything. I’m really excited to be back, it’s going to be in Vegas at the T-Mobile Arena so I’m going to be at home.”

On the MMA side of things, Dern is hoping to take part in UFC 303 during International Fight Week in Las Vegas this June.

“I’ve never fought on International Fight Week, I’ve done a lot of appearances and stuff like that, but I’ve never been the fighter in International Fight Week,” Dern noted.

Watch our full interview with Mackenzie Dern above.