Life has a way of throwing curveballs, and for UFC fighter Mackenzie Dern, it's a reality she knows all too well. As she prepares for her bout against Jessica Andrade at UFC 295, Dern reflects on the personal chaos that has been part of her journey, including a tumultuous divorce and the challenges of being a mother and a fighter.
Dern's divorce, which was recently finalized, may be in her past, but the financial fallout still lingers. She candidly shared,
"This whole fight is still paying my ex. It's crazy, I have to get punched in the face and you work so hard, and you do all this, and you have to like pay that much of something."
In addition to dealing with the aftermath of her divorce, Dern faced the unexpected closure of her former gym, RVCA, forcing her to adapt and find a new training environment. She began training with former UFC champion Henry Cejudo and even set up her own private training sessions at home.
The journey of a fighter is rarely smooth. Dern shared her thoughts,
"You just keep investing in your dream and hope that it works. I'm trying to make everything private at home because you're just very vulnerable when everyone's seeing your training. In the fight, it comes out. It all works out."
Dern acknowledges that she occasionally adds a bit of chaos to her life herself. She humorously mentioned,
"I got a new puppy — I think I even invent more problems, more chaos. I thrive on that, the craziness."
Amid the whirlwind of personal challenges, Dern recognizes that consistency is essential for a fighter's success. She understands that her story is not unique, and fighters, including her opponent Jessica Andrade, deal with similar issues. Andrade also revealed she was going through a divorce ahead of UFC 295.
Dern embraces the reality that fighters let out their stress and emotions in the Octagon. She said,
"It's kind of crazy the fans get to watch us let out all of our stress and everything on another person in a fight, but that's what we're trained for. That's what makes the victory more special."
Mackenzie Dern's story is a testament to the resilience and determination of fighters who face personal struggles while pursuing their dreams. Inside and outside the Octagon, she continues to rise above the chaos, proving that she is a force to be reckoned with in the world of mixed martial arts.