Mackenzie Dern recently announced she is pregnant and will be putting her MMA career on pause. However, that doesn’t mean she isn’t thinking about returning to the Octagon soon.
Dern is expecting the child in May and would like to return to the Octagon in the fall. There she hopes to start her rise up the rankings. Although she was already motivated before, she believes she will be even more motivated come her first fight back to the Octagon in hopes of making her kid proud. She is no longer fighting for herself but also fighting for her child to have a better life.
“When you’re by yourself it’s hard to find the right motivation,” Dern said to MMAFighting. “‘Oh, I like money, I want that celebrity life,’ things like that, but getting punched every day and training your entire life… Man, I missed weight in May and there was a fight in Fortaleza (in February) where a girl [Sarah Frota] missed weight by seven pounds and everybody was criticizing me. It’s hard to maintain a good head, stay motivated. When I found out about the pregnancy I said ‘wow, I want to come back and fight as soon as possible, I want to come back better than ever’. I want my child to be proud of me and give us a better life.
“Many people say ‘she’s lucky because she’s pretty and the UFC likes her, gives her easy fights, and she can do whatever she wants,’ but it’s not like that. My fans… Actually, I lost many fans when I posted a picture with my husband announcing the pregnancy. But I like that it’s changing a bit. It’s no longer those fans that are looking a pretty girl fighting, but fans that really cheer for you during your daily battles and like you for what you do. That’s really cool. That really is motivating.”
With that, Dern has one simple goal when she returns to the Octagon. That is to win and then become the first mom to be a UFC champion.
“The first mother? No mother ever did it? I didn’t even know that,” Dern said. “I have another goal now: be the first mother to win a championship belt in the UFC.”