Is Mackenzie Dern Rushing Back To Action?

Is Mackenzie Dern Rushing Back To Action?

The undefeated Mackenzie Dern returns to action for the first time since she scored a submission win over Amanda Cooper in May 2018. The much-decorated jiu-jitsu player took that time off to start a family. Dern and her husband, Wesley Santos, brought a daughter in the world in June. Yes, Dern is back to fighting just a few months after giving birth.

Earlier this week, Dern told Ariel Helwani the UFC was concerned about her returning to the octagon so soon.

“They wanted to see my weight, and afterward they were really surprised with my weight,” Dern said. “And they wanted to see how much carbohydrates my body was burning while resting or if it was fat. Those types of tests. Everything was good and they were surprised.”

“Then they started to say, ‘Well, you are breastfeeding, what is that going to change?” she added. “Is your daughter going to get all of the nutrients because you are dieting?”

After passing those tests, the UFC still wanted to consult with Dern’s doctors.

“So they were concerned about everything and I had to get all of my doctors in California to talk to them on the phone,” Dern said. “It was kind of a big thing to let me go. But finally they didn’t have anymore excuses to let me fight after doctors said I was good to go.”

Dern has struggled with weight cuts, so the UFC’s concern about the health of her and her young daughter is not misplaced. 

Dern faces Amanda Ribas in a strawweight bout on the main card of Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 161. 

Ribas made her UFC debut in June. She scored a second-round submission win over Emily Whitmire. Ribas’ first fight was delayed after she tested positive for ostarine. The United States Anti-Doping Agency initially handed down a two-year suspension for that failure, but that was later reduced when USADA determined a contaminated supplement was likely responsible for the positive test.

Ribas might not have the grappling pedigree of Dern, but she is a black belt in both jiu-jitsu and judo.

UFC Fight Night 161 takes place Saturday at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida. The entire card streams on ESPN+.

Pick: Dern

More From UFC Fight Night 161:

UFC Fight Night 161 Preview And Picks: A Middleweight Grudge Match

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