A lot of the late buzz that surrounded UFC 224 last month came from the event’s weigh-ins. Which of course, is never a good thing. The guilty party, in this case, was the top prospect, Mackenzie Dern.
The BJJ wizard, Dern would miss weight for her scheduled 115-pound strawweight bout by coming in at 123 pounds.
Recently, UFC President, Dana White has voiced his displeasure with the all the recent weight missings and is adamant on changing the weigh-in format back to the old afternoon time. Something very few if any fighters have said they want to happen.
Dern would win her fight at UFC 224 but was asked to move up in weight after missing for the third time in her seven-fight career. She decided against the suggestion as she told Combate.
”After I did not hit the weight, the UFC called me. They said they were thinking of moving me up, they called me to come to the Performance Institute in Las Vegas to see what my body type was like, if it was better to continue at strawweight or move up to flyweight. Having this network is so great, seeing them invest time in me and helping me, I had no way of saying no. I’m here getting their help on everything.
Everyone here agrees I have a body type that fits at strawweight, in the category that I am, so the plan is to continue in it. But we want to diet and train so that I do not have to cut so much weight, I’ll cut very little. After the fight, I will not go up that much. Regardless of what will be decided on the weigh-in, whether or not it will return for the afternoon, it will not change my situation much, because, the way they want me to be the best possible athlete, it will be a very quiet thing.”
Following the fight, Dern stated that she entered the UFC 224 fight week weighing in at 139 pounds and only used a nutritionist that week only. Obviously, this wasn’t all that great of an idea.
Although that sounds like a pretty good reason as to why she missed weight so badly, the 25-year old felt something else factored into it.
”Fighting twice in a short time period was one of the factors, but there really were a lot of things.” Dern continued, “I’m learning here every day, every day I learn something different from my body that I did not even know, things that get in the way of my cut, that I had difficulty due to the way I cut. Now that I’m working with the UFC, I’m going to come back here every four weeks, take the tests to see how my body is reacting. But otherwise, my workout will continue normal.”
Dern made her UFC debut at UFC 222 on March 3rd. Her second and most recent fight where she missed weight at UFC 224 took place on May 12th.
Sure, this is a relatively quick turnaround when considering that the average UFC fighter fights just twice a year. But fighters have made much quicker turnarounds in the past and still made weight just fine. Just see most of Donald Cerrone’s career or for a recent example, Jeremy Stephens who fought twice in the span of a month and made weight successfully on both occasions.
As Dern said, she is indeed still learning and new to the game. But seven fights in and counting doesn’t make it look like a good excuse. And now if she misses in the future, it will look even worse.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 6/18/2018.