Mackenzie Dern will be in action this Saturday in Las Vegas, United States, when he faces
Hannah Cifers for the UFC. The American naturalized Brazilian returns to the octagon after a defeat by unanimous decision to
Amanda Ribas in October last year, four months after becoming a mother.
In an interview with Estadão, Mackenzie comments on the post-pregnancy criticisms and states that he seeks to gain morale with the organization. “One of the things that changed after Moa was born was that I experienced the taste of defeat. It is very bad to lose, but when you are unbeaten, you don’t know how you will feel, how people will act with you. criticism at the time, but I’ve matured a lot too and they affect me a lot less now. “
After your defeat to Amanda, how were the conversations with the UFC? Did you ask to fight now?
I wish I had fought in March. As soon as the fight with Amanda ended, I started asking for events to fight. But as I was defeated, it took me a while to get it. I put a lot of pressure and got it for April, but then the pandemic came and canceled everything. I stayed on top to get this Saturday. I need to win in order to have this morality of asking for fights again.
Does fighting during a pandemic generate any kind of fear?
Not much. I think the only fear I had was to catch the plane and arrive at the hotel. Besides, I was more afraid of hurting myself or something because of the preparation. But it’s all right, I’m really excited. I just want to get in there, do my best and win the fight. And, of course, take all necessary care.
How was the preparation for this fight?
I was very lucky. Because the gym that I train closed to the public, but released the octagon and the mat for me and other professional fighters who had a fight scheduled. Everything private and sanitized. So I managed to train there, maybe I had a lot more opportunity than people who had to train in their garages.
When you returned to work shortly after your daughter’s birth, you commented that fans would see a “more mature” Mackenzie. Now Moa will be one year old. What has changed since then?
One of the things that changed was that I experienced the taste of defeat. It’s too bad to lose, but when you’re unbeaten, you don’t know how you’re going to feel, how people are going to act with you. I felt criticism a lot at the time, but I matured a lot too and they affect me a lot less now. Furthermore, as the Moa is bigger now, she watches everything I do and tries to imitate. So I’ve been paying a lot more attention to the person that I am, that I want to be. Because I want to be an example for her.
How is it being to reconcile the life of a mother with the life of an athlete? And the partnership with Wesley Santos (husband)?
I think I have managed to reconcile well, I think I am a good mother. I don’t feel bad as a fighter either. And I have a lot of help from my husband, we are divided into everything. His work is very flexible, he is a surfer. He is not trapped inside an office from 9am to 6pm. As he is an athlete too, he understands every moment. Sometimes I come back from training super sore, tired and he understands that it is better that he stay with Moa. And vice versa. The biggest help is the fact that I have him with me and we are able to do everything.
Is that expectation left to find out if Moa will arouse the desire to be a fighter or a surfer? Do you joke about it?
Ah, always. We always say that. She loves the beach and he keeps showing the board, using paraffin… Then she wants to move, she wants to go up. And she also watches me train, she already does umbrella training. As she is in that phase of the child to start hitting, I am afraid she will see me hitting and wanting to hit others, find it normal. So we worry a lot about trying to teach that. I am trying to teach this respect for martial arts. But I really want her to do jiu-jitsu.
How is this quarantine period going?
The pandemic messed up everything, right? I wanted to fight, but it was impossible. After the defeat to Amanda, I wanted to enjoy it and come back soon, but it just didn’t happen. But I’m happy to be able to go back to work. Everything is crazy, Brazilians can no longer fly here, a roller coaster.
I have trained, of course there is a lack of a bigger structure, which every professional athlete looks for. But all athletes are experiencing this. So I think we will see more technical and less athletic fights. The guy will no longer win because he has more gas or strength. Now we will see who is more technical.
And what is the expectation for the rest of the year?
About the future, for sure, I win, I will ask to fight in the next event. I would like to fight three more times this year.