Mackenzie Dern Details 'Added Motivation' From Difficult Divorce Ahead Of Main Event Return
Strawweight contender Mackenzie Dern is gearing up for her first UFC outing of the year this weekend.
The American-born Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist, who currently occupies the #8 ranking at 115 pounds, hasn’t been in action since a majority decision loss to Yan Xiaonan at UFC Vegas 61 last October.
The result moved Dern’s main event record to 0-2 on MMA’s biggest stage, with a similar defeat to Marina Rodriguez coming a year earlier.
With that, Dern will be hoping to enter the headlining winner’s circle for the first time in the UFC on Saturday, when she meets veteran Angela Hill inside the Apex facility in Las Vegas.
But ahead of her first foray to the cage in 2023, not everything has been smooth sailing for Dern outside the cage.
Dern Admits Divorce Has Made Preparation Tough
During a recent interview with Fanatics View, Dern looked ahead to her outing opposite Hill and the lengthy camp she’s had leading into it.
Prior to her defeat to Xiaonan last year, the Arizona-born strawweight was at the start of divorce proceedings with her former partner. When asked how much that affected her against the Chinese fighter, Dern suggested that the ongoing difficulties involved in the split have had a bigger impact ahead of UFC Vegas 73 this Saturday.
But despite battling those personal issues in addition to her fight prep, Dern insisted that the trials and tribulations have only motivated her further to get the job done on May 20.
“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,” Dern said. “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.
“I’m definitely going through a lot more in my personal life for this camp and it hasn’t been easy, for sure. But it just gives you more motivation to go out there and know you’re not gonna let outside stuff stop you accomplishing your dreams or try to pull you back,” Dern continued. “It’s crazy because it’s real things. But like I’ve said before, you never have a perfect camp… This camp has been crazy, but it’s more motivation.”
Dern and Hill have both had an extra week to prepare, with their bout originally being scheduled for the UFC Charlotte card this past weekend.
With Irene Aldana drafted in to fight for the title next month, Saturday’s Apex event was left without a headliner, and Dern vs. Hill was delayed to fill the void. Both will hope to make the most of the unexpected spotlight by securing their first main event triumphs.
This Saturday!@MackenzieDern vs @AngieOverkill at #UFCVegas73! pic.twitter.com/NR5UOHRxIS
— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) May 15, 2023
Read Also: Mackenzie Dern Plans ‘Smarter’ Approach Against Angela Hill; Names Lessons Learned From Yan Xiaonan Loss
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