UFC 295 at Madison Square Garden delivered a surprisingly compelling night of action given that it lost its headliner Jon Jones heavyweight championship bout just a couple of weeks out.
The mid-card women’s bout between Mackenzie Dern and Jessica Andrade was one of many exciting and definitive finishes featured on the card. Dern’s previous Octagon outing had allowed her to channel her rage from her recent divorce.
“I was unleashing anger,” Dern said with a laugh. “It’s not only emotion, of course. I was motivated. I needed to win. I needed a bonus. I needed all the money I could get because of everything I was going through, the [divorce]. All that and my desire to win since I was coming off a loss. I had anger, I was letting it all out, but I also evolved in this camp.
“I don’t want people to think it was only anger during the fight, unleashing it all on Angela, you know? I really have a better idea of [the sport] now. The motivation in this fight was everything I’m going through, the divorce, my ex-husband and all that, but people can see that — I wouldn’t call it a new Mackenzie, but an evolved Mackenzie.”
Unfortunately, fighting emotionally isn’t always a good thing at the higher levels of competition.
Mackenzie Dern apologizes to fans for ’emotional’ fight
If Dern had hoped carrying her emotions with her into the cage would work again against Andrade, it wasn’t to be.
“Everything happens at the right time,” Dern wrote in a post on her Instagram. “Of course I was wishing my best performance at MSG and not my first TKO loss, lol but I Trust in Gods plans! I have to learn to control my emotions! I got caught in the emotional fight, which wasn’t the plan. I wanted to do a lot, but not get in big exchanges, where it’s risky.
“I took 4 knockdowns, that was the first lol. Once again I was tested, given the opportunity and didn’t pass. This is the risk when we enter the octagon, I knew it was going to be a good fight, because we both go for the finish. But I learned a lot and the focus is the belt! Thank you everyone who believed in me, who supports me in victory and defeat, and who continues to believe in me.
“Sorry for any disappointment, I’m fine, my heart is tight, it hurts, but the rest is all right. Going back to my daughter now and enjoy time with my family and train more because I’ll be back soon. The goal continues, I just need to work more calmly, this warrior has a lot of emotion in everything she does! Lol fall 7 times and get up 8!”
Dern still dealing with messy divorce
Dern might have let her emotions get the better of her, because she’s still dealing with a seemingly very messy divorce.
“I realized we always have problems,” Dern told reporters at a pre-fight media event (transcript via MMA Fighting). “Just the pressure. The last one I went through the divorce. The divorce is final but you don’t realize how much aftermath there is to it. Literally, 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.
“Money’s something, I’ll fight here, I’ll get it, whatever. Winning or losing, everything’s going to be taken care of. I’ll make more [money] and stuff like that but it’s just problems.”
Mackenzie Dern had to make new training camp
If all that wasn’t enough, Dern also revealed that her camp situation has changed yet again.
“RVCA closed so I basically made my own home gym,” Dern explained. “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. I’m a world champion in jiu-jitsu but people see me in the gym and I’m crying, I’m frustrated because I feel I should be better at something. I feel like I should be able to get it and I don’t get it. It’s not working.
“There’s injuries and there’s a ton of stuff that keeps going on and you’re like I just want to be able to train and get better. I don’t know. In the fight it comes out. It all works out.”
Dern tried to make the best of things working with Henry Cejudo for this fight but it was too little, too late as the brutal Andrade showed no mercy.
Hopefully Dern can find some extra calm in her life going into her next fight.
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