Good news, sports fans and essentially anyone with working eyes, Mackenzie Dern is finally headed to the UFC. Dern, who is an American Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner, is a former world #1 ranked IBJJF competitor and is currently ranked 6th among the female divisions.
The 24-year-old former world champion grappler made her MMA debut in July of 2016. With an undefeated 5-0 record, MMA Fighting reports that Dern will be facing off against Ashley Yoder at UFC 222 on March 3 in Las Vegas. Dern’s first UFC opponent is Ashley Yoder, also known as the ‘Spider Monkey’. Yoder is 5-3 in MMA since making her debut back in 2014.
Born in Phoenix, Arizona, Dern is the daughter of Wellington “Megaton” Dias, who is a highly decorated grappler in his own right. Her stepmother, Luciana Tavares, is also a black belt. She began training and practicing with her father by age 3 and started competing at a young age. Dern began competing in the adult divisions at just 14-years-old before graduating from Ironwood High School in Glendale, Arizona.
Dern has won a world championship in every belt level as she progressed to black belt rank, which was awarded to her by her father in December 2012, three months prior to her 20th birthday.