Mackenzie Dern has accepted an offer to visit the UFC Performance Institute in Las Vegas to address her issues with cutting weight.
“I can’t lose that opportunity to get all that help from this organization that’s so big,” Dern told MMAjunkie after her submission win over Amanda Cooper at UFC 224, which took place Saturday at Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro.
Dern (7-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC), 25, said her manager has advised her that the UFC wants her to move up in weight, but she doesn’t believe that decision is final. So she plans to convince her promoter that she’s able to fight as a strawweight.
“They’ve already told me that even without a fight, they’re going to tell me in a couple months that I’m going to need to make weight,” Dern said. “But that’s what I need. Not that it’s not important to me, but I believe in what they’re offering me. I’m going to take their help.”
The decorated jiu-jitsu champion attended UFC 224’s post-fight press conference and was asked about the circumstances that led to her coming in seven pounds over the allowable limit for the women’s strawweight bout with Cooper (3-4 MMA, 2-3 UFC).
Dern explained that travel issues were partly to blame. She missed her flight and retained water on the trip from the U.S. to Brazil, so she started her weight cut “a little bit heavy.” Although she initially was able to make good strides toward the 116-pound limit, her body began to shut down on the day of weigh-ins.
After cutting almost nine pounds on Thursday, she said she sat in the sauna for two hours on Friday and was only able to cut 500 grams of water. UFC officials, who’d been monitoring her since her arrival in Brazil, then stepped in to prevent her from cutting any more weight.
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