8 Things You Didn’t Know About Mackenzie Dern

Fresh off of her victory at LFA 24 — where she forced opponent Mandy Polk into submission with a rear-naked choke in the first round — Mackenzie Dern (currently 4-0) spoke with the Zebra team to tell us who her biggest inspiration is, what her favorite cheat foods are and what is next in her booming MMA career.

Here are a few things you didn’t know about the ADCC and no gi BJJ (black belt) World Champion.

#1: Although she’s training hard to break into the UFC, she’s still a BJJ fanatic at heart.

Although she finds herself mostly drawn towards MMA at the moment, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu will always be her favorite style of fighting.  

MD: “I’m drawn towards MMA training now that I am making the transition to fighting, but BJJ will always be my first love. BJJ has given me everything I have in life and I try to represent the sport to the best of my ability.”

#2: She’s been training in BJJ since she was a child.

Born in Phoenix, Arizona, Dern start​ed training at her dad’s academy at the age of five.

#3: Her biggest inspiration is her dad.

A highly decorated competitor himself, Dern’s father, Wellington “Megaton” Dias is not only her biggest source of inspiration, he also coached her from a young age and remains one of her biggest supporters.

#4: She still trains at her dad’s academy.

A normal training routine takes Dern on a morning run followed by hit mitts with her Coach, Eddie Cha.

MD: “In the afternoon, I go to my dad’s BJJ academy and ​teach classes and get my BJJ training in there. Wednesdays and Saturdays consist of sparring rounds at The MMA Lab.”

#5: She has a big sweet tooth.

Although Dern adheres to a strict diet when training for a competition, she still has a taste for some of the sweeter things in life.

MD: I keep to a strict diet when I’m training for a competition, but I love sweets like candy and pies, LOL.

#6 She’s only trained on Zebra Mats.

MD: “Both my dad’s academy and my MMA gym, The MMA Lab have Zebra Mats. It’s all I’ve ever trained on, both for BJJ and MMA.​ My favorite Zebra products are the MMA mats. They are the best I’ve ever competed and trained on.”

#7 She enjoys her downtime.

When she’s not rigorously training and competing, she likes to go on hikes, spend time with her dogs and visit her father’s home country of Brazil.

#8: She currently has one goal in mind.

MD: “Become UFC Champion​”

Follow Mackenzie Dern on her UFC Journey

Mackenzie Dern is focused on her goal to become UFC champion, and we will be bringing you behind-the-scenes coverage of her training, competition and much more. Look out for her at the Zebra Athletics booth in select upcoming events.