It was a difficult past few weeks for Mackenzie Dern, as the unbeaten fighter failed to make weight for her UFC 224 contest with Amanda Cooper.
Despite that, and being removed from her team at the MMA Lab, Dern still came out on top, submitting Cooper in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil with her father in attendance.
“I’ve always wanted to fight here in Brazil,” she said. “This victory was for you dad. This was a hard camp to move my team in the middle of the camp.
“Today, I always said if I get a win by submission with my dad it would be one of the best nights of my life. I didn’t feel pressure, I just got so emotional with everything that happened. I knew that Brazil would support me.”
The 25-year-old Dern, who has since moved to California to train, is a former ADCC and no gi BJJ champion. She improved to 7-0 with the win, including her fourth career submission.
For someone still young in the MMA game, though, five fights since last March has been quite an undertaking.
“The last seven months I fought four times,” she said. “I’d like to rest, but continue training.”