Mackenzie Dern Has Announced Her Come Back To BJJ In 2024
Mackenzie Dern is a remarkable UFC strawweight fighter and one of the top female BJJ grapplers. She revealed on her Instagram story on January 8, 2024, that she intends to make a comeback to Jiu Jitsu in 2024.
Dern is currently an American professional MMA fighter but was previously the top female practitioner in the IBJJF. She was born in Arizona on March 24, 1993. Dern started training at the age of three years under the supervision of her father, Wellington Dias Santos who himself was a 7th-degree BJJ coral belt.
Mackenzie Dern Achievements
During her teenage years, she competed in adult divisions and clinched multiple IBJJF championships as she advanced from white to black belt. Her father awarded her her black belt in December 2012. Dern’s stepmother, Luciana Tavares, also a BJJ black belt, played a significant role in her BJJ career. Dern has grabbed multiple titles. It includes IBJJF World Champion No-Gi, IBJJF Pan American Champion, IBJJF World Champion Gi, ADCC World Championship, European Open, Brazilian Nationals, and Asian Open at each belt level. She was the first female BJJ black belt grappler to secure a gold medal.
Dern made her MMA debut in 2015. She chose to follow a career in MMA while still honing her grappling skills after the 2017 ADCC. After achieving five consecutive victories without a loss, she was recruited by the UFC. Her professional MMA record stands at 13 victories and four defeats, with 7 of those wins coming by submission. Her exceptional wrestling skills have earned her the #7 spot in the UFC Women’s Strawweight Division and the award for Most Submission Wins in the same division.
Dern Break From BJJ
Dern was previously married to professional surfer Wesley Santos but divorced in 2022. She took a break from her MMA career in 2019 due to her pregnancy but returned to the ring after the birth of her daughter. Recently, Dern revealed on her Instagram story that she intends to make a comeback to BJJ by mid or late 2024, expressing her excitement about the return. She stated:
“When I come back to Jiu Jitsu I’m planning on coming back starting with no gi. I’m trying to get a comeback this year, by the end of the year. At the end of the year, I have a specific event that I want to do. So I’m already starting kinda training for that and yeah, I’m excited!”