One of the bigger stories coming out of UFC 224 fight week was Mackenzie Dern’s massive scale fail after missing the Strawweight limit by a whopping seven pounds, drawing the ire of her opponent, Amanda Cooper, as well as the mixed martial arts (MMA) community. Even though Dern missed her mark, Cooper agreed to go ahead with the bout; however, she was eventually rocked by a powerful overhand right and subsequently submitted to a rear-naked choke in the first round in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (see it again here).
Despite the win — which improved her undefeated mark to 7-0, 2-0 UFC — Dern was forced to forfeit a percentage of her purse to Cooper for missing weight. And it wasn’t the usual 20 percent, as Dern revealed on a recent edition of “The MMA Hour.” On the contrary, she had to give Cooper 30 percent of her “show” money and an additional 15 percent of her “win” bonus.
“She got 30 percent of my purse, when it’s usually 20. But, because I was so much heavier, it goes up to 30-percent. I think she was confident in the fight and we are giving her 30 percent. And we are giving 15 percent extra, too, if I was to win. It was an extra 15 percent extra. So I would have accepted the fight, too. I know she wanted to fight and everything. But, I wasn’t surprise she accepted the fight. I was hoping she would and was grateful she accepted.”
According to Mackenzie, she and Cooper came to an agreement that Dern had to pay her an additional portion of her “win” bonus if she proved victorious.
“Thirty percent of my show money, which is the commission, the UFC, it’s what everybody has to do if they miss weight. And between us together, just between the fighters, we did a negotiation to have the fight happen ... 15 percent if I would win (bonus) of my purse.”
All in all, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace coughed up $13,050 of her combined $58,000 ($29,000 show, $29,000 win) salary. In addition, her transgression prevented her from scoring an extra $50,000 “Fight Night” performance bonus, which she could have very well earned due to her impressive finish.
According to Dern, she tried her hardest to drop the final pounds, but her efforts got her nowhere as the weight simply didn’t come off and she was ultimately instructed by the Brazilian athletic commission, as well as UFC doctors, to stop the process. This is now the third time Dern has missed weight in her first seven professional MMA fights, which may now force the submission expert to move up to the promotion’s Flyweight division.
For now, though, Dern plans on working with the nutritionist at UFC’s Performance Institute in Las Vegas, Nevada, to get her on the right track as soon as possible.