Mackenzie Dern picked up a second promotional victory at last night’s UFC 224 event, submitting Amanda Cooper in the very first-round via rear-naked choke.
Despite the impressive victory, Dern (7-0) is still receiving backlash on social media after weighing in as a flyweight for the scheduled strawweight encounter. Cooper successfully made weight coming in at 116-pounds, however Dern came in significantly over at 123-pounds.
The multiple-time BJJ world champion was forced to address her weight-cutting failure when speaking to media after the big win.
“I can tell you 10,000 excuses, but I really believe that what happened with my weight is way back months ago in my last fight,” Dern said. “I think it’s my diet. I think I need to get my diet right. And the fact I was able to do it before, I thought I knew what I was doing. A lot of things have been happening. It’s not an excuse, missed flights and a lot of things happened and I just kept going and going.”
“The UFC since my first day I got here were trying to help me, but I was saying I was going to be able to make weight because I did it last time,” she said. “But on Friday at 9AM, I wasn’t losing any more weight. I was in the sauna and there was no more water coming out, I couldn’t walk any more and the commission said ‘You can’t keep going.’ Fortunately Amanda accepted the fight.”
The highly-touted prospect admits she is feeling “ashamed” by the whole situation.
“I’m ashamed of that and I don’t want it to happen again … but it’s a mistake. Not that one thing is worse than the other, but I don’t take steroids, I didn’t pop for something. There’s champions that are caught using drugs, cocaine, things like that. For me it was a mistake and I’m going to work with the UFC to make sure it never happens again.” she continued.
Dern says she was informed by her manager that the UFC now want her to move up to the 125-pound weight-class and plan to work very closely with her.
“My manager said the UFC wants me to move up in weight,” Dern admitted. “I believe that’s what they want. On Friday, [UFC matchmaker] Mick [Maynard] called me and said we have an institute here in Vegas, and we’re going to invest in you, we want you here, we’re going to work with you, so I said OK I’m going to work for you guys.”
“I can’t lose that opportunity to get all that out from this organization which is so big and help me make weight. They told me even without a fight, they’re going to make me make weight and they’re going to stay on me, but that’s what I need. Not that it’s not important I believe in what they’re offering to me. I’m going to take their help.”
Fight fans, how do you feel about the situation? Is it time for Mackenzie Dern to start competing in the flyweight division? Let us know in the comments section below.