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Mackenzie Dern talks motherhood, motivation, and making a comeback

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu ace Mackenzie Dern (7-0) will return to the UFC octagon this Saturday for the very first time since becoming a mother earlier this year.

The 26-year old Dern will face Brazil’s Amanda Ribas (7-1) inside Tampa, Florida’s Amalie Arena at UFC on ESPN+ 19 on October 12.

Being a UFC fighter is tough. But being a UFC fighter and a mom? That’s a whole different level. With just four months to transform her body post-pregnancy, Dern got back into fighting shape for her upcoming fight and did so while taking care of her newborn daughter.

Recently, former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping sat down with the returning fighter to get more insight into her mindset leading up to the fight, her routine, and just how she’s achieved this miraculous return to the Octagon.

“It really is a big step I think for me,” Dern told the UFC Hall of Famer.  I think a lot of people, I have a lot of followers, seeing if I’m going to make weight, seeing if I’m going to fight good, how I’m going to have more motivation with having a baby and everything. So, I’m really excited for this fight.”

Dern addressed the fact that she missed weight by seven pounds in her last fight, prior to the pregnancy.

“A lot of people will say she didn’t even try, she doesn’t care,” Dern said.  “I think this is going to show people how much I really am trying, cause it really is not so easy to come back that fast and be 115-pounds when I usually walk around at 135.”

UFC Tampa fight card:

Joanna Jędrzejczyk vs. Michelle Waterson
Cub Swanson vs. Kron Gracie
Mackenzie Dern vs. Amanda Ribas
Luis Pena vs. Matt Frevola
Eryk Anders vs. Gerald Meerschaert
James Vick vs. Niko Price
Devin Clark vs. Ryan Spann
Max Griffin vs. Alex Morono
Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Tim Elliott
Marlon Vera vs. Andre Ewell
Hector Aldana vs. Miguel Baeza
Marvin Vettori vs. Andrew Sanchez
JJ Aldrich vs. Lauren Mueller