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Mackenzie Dern’s new weight problem: coming into fights too light

Dern revealed that she weighed just 116 pounds walking into the cage for her last UFC fight, just 1.5 pounds more than her contracted weight.

MMA: OCT 08 UFC Vegas 39 Weigh-Ins Photo by Louis Grasse/PxImages

Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace Mackenzie Dern’s mixed martial arts (MMA) career got off to a bit of a shaky start in the weight department, with Dern missing weight three times in her first seven fights. Her last miss went down in her second UFC fight, and it was a big one: she came in seven pounds over the strawweight limit.

It raised a lot of questions regarding her professionalism and commitment to the sport.

Fortunately, Dern turned things around after having a baby, and hasn’t had a problem in her last six UFC fights. She credits breastfeeding with sapping away a lot of her bodyfat and her daughter with igniting a fire within her to be champion.

But, now she has a new problem: she’s been so worried about missing weight again, she’s been showing up too light to fights. In a new interview with Shakiel Mahjouri leading up to her UFC 273 fight against Tecia Torres, she explained this new “trauma.”

“My problem is that almost because of what I went through with not making weight and all the negativity and criticism, my last couple of fights I’ve been so scared to not make weight,” Dern said. “My last fight I weighed in 114.5 and the next day I was 116 on the day of the fight. And for me, I wish I was heavier than that. But I got so ‘Oh, I shouldn’t eat anything, I want to make sure I make the weight.’ It’s like calm down, don’t worry, you’ll get it. It was a little bit trauma.

“Now this camp, I’m working on keeping my weight heavier and under control,” she continued. “‘Don’t worry, Mackenzie, you got it. Don’t be so scared. You’re ready.’ It’s hard for me to let go of how much I suffered with those weight cuts in the back. So I get really scared now.”

“But, now, my loss and just being like ‘Oh shoot I don’t want to be 116, I wish I had jumped up to 125 the day of the fight, a little bit stronger’ ... now that has took over my traumas and now I’ve learned. So now this fight, I think I’m going to come in really strong and even better than the last one.”

That’s good news considering Torres is a ripped beast of a woman who has been competitively bodybuilding between her fights. If there’s ever been a fight in Dern’s UFC career where she’s going to want to come in with some extra strength, it’s against Torres.


Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 273 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:15 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.

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