Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace Mackenzie Dern scored a dominant win over Angela Hill in her last outing, but, supposedly, it wasn’t a perfect outing. Though the ADCC World Champion was going through a rough divorce weeks prior to her match at UFC Vegas 73 she still managed to earn an impressive unanimous decision victory. However, she still received some criticism from UFC president Dana White following the battle.
Dana White didn’t seem very impressed
In fact, the most impressive feat Dern managed to showcase in the fight against Hill was how much her striking had improved. Once known as a one-dimensional submission grappler, the Brazilian proved she could hold her own in a stand-up battle against a seasoned striker such as ‘Overkill’. So much so that even Dana White thought she could have scored a knockout finish had Dern pressed her opponent a little bit more with strikes.
In a conversation with former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping on his podcast ‘Believe You Me’ (Transcribed by MMA News) Mackenzie Dern revealed that Dana White had a conversation with her shortly after the win. In the talk, the blackbelt explained that the promotion’s president felt like she could have knocked out Hill following a knee strike Dern managed to land flush on her opponent.
Though Dern remembers the strike and how cleanly it connected, she could not resist her instinct to take the fight to the ground after hurting an opponent. To her mind, that was most likely what stopped the grappler from scoring her first ever knockout victory.
“I went to talk to him (Dana White), he told me how he liked the fight, talked to me about the knee,” Dern said. “He said ‘You could’ve knocked her out if you hit her more’, and I was like, what did I do? My first reaction was to take her to the ground and just grapple, so I still don’t know what that’s like to connect on someone get the knockout.”
Mackenzie Dern almost withdrew from the fight
Most recently, Dern also revealed how the news of her divorce had affected her preparation for UFC Vegas 73, making the Brazilian even consider withdrawing from the card altogether. Though she ended up staying and putting on a memorable performance, Dern explained just how serious the problem had gotten with her ex-husband Wesley Santos.
“The first month [of camp], I swear I thought about pulling out of the fight,” Mackenzie Dern said . “Lawyers, my ex wanting things, trying to find evidence of things, saying I’m a negligent mother. Imagine me as a mother, I get punched in the face, to be fighting for my daughter, I have to win a fight because I have bills to pay, to pay a house for my daughter, and someone you live with for three years – someone you’ve helped get a green card and support his dreams – is saying you’re negligent, say lies about me.”
Can Mackenzie Dern put together a new win streak?
The win over Hill saw Mackenzie Dern (13-3) rebound from a unanimous decision loss to Yan Xiaonan, which happened in October 2022. In fact, the 30-year-old has been alternating wins and losses for while, having defeated Tecia Torres via split decision in April 2022 and losing to Marina Rodriguez just before that, in October 2021.
The last time Mackenzie Dern won two fights win a row dates back to a four-fight winning streak she had going on from May 2020 to April 2021. During this time, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu blackbelt scored victories over Hannah Cifers, Randa Markos, Virna Jandiroba and Nina Nunes.
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