Mackenzie Dern fueled by crazy divorce ahead of her fight

LockerRoom Team
20 May 2023

Mackenzie Dern finds herself extra motivated as she prepares for her upcoming UFC Vegas 73 headliner against Angela Hill this Saturday at the UFC APEX.

The 30-year-old Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world champion and ADCC gold medalist spoke with the media on Wednesday, opening up about how her personal challenges have become a driving force leading up to her third main event bout.

During the interview, Dern also discussed the breakthrough she experienced during her training camp, which marked a significant milestone in her nearly seven-year career as a professional fighter.

In a social media post in late 2022, Mackenzie Dern confirmed the end of her marriage to Wesley Santos, with whom she has a daughter. Although she refrained from divulging specific details, Dern mentioned that she has been single for a few months now.

While Dern chose not to elaborate on her situation with Santos, she did reveal to reporters that the circumstances, fueled by a "lot of aggression," have provided additional motivation as she enters the fight.

“It’s been so crazy. My divorce has been crazy. Coach Parillo, he was out of town for a month with Luke for his bare-knuckle fight. Definitely, for this fight, I’m coming with a lot of aggression from my personal life and everything. Nothing personal against Angela, I have a lot of respect for her, but I need to get it done,” she said in the interview ahead of the event.

Dern also opened up about her game plan heading into the event.

“Basically, this camp was (about) tactic, and having this vision of fighting that I never had before. And I feel kind of, like, ‘Man, I’m like ten fights in the UFC and I just found that out now.’ To understand that I just need to win the round, and if you do that each round, you win the fight. Instead of me thinking… I would finish the round and out of one minute, I’d spend maybe 20 seconds, like, ‘Did I win that round?,” she added.

What do you think of the motivation for Mackenzie Dern? Let us know in the comments below.


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