UFC Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu standout Mackenzie Dern failed to make weight on Friday morning for UFC 224. She weighed in seven pounds over the strawweight limit, but the show will go on.
This another example of why fans won’t get behind Dern. Mackenzie Dern has now missed weight three times in seven pro bouts and this was probably the biggest one yet given how badly she missed weight and the platform the UFC placed her on. Dern, 25, finds herself on the main card in her second UFC bout just two months since being a part of the promotion. Her first fight, while a win on her record, wasn’t very impressive. Dern explained that she wanted to strike with her opponent, Ashley Yoder, but fans were left unimpressed nonetheless.
Dern has been in the public eye for some time now given her physical features. For the most part the feedback had been largely positive, but then the UFC decided to capitalize on her stardom by signing her. The UFC seems to have a knack for picking one dimensional fighters and getting behind them and it hasn’t really worked well for them in the past. See Sage Northcutt, Paige VanZant, Israel Adesanya, Sean O’ Malley and Darren Till. No disrespect to any of those names, but they’ve shown they have plenty room to grow and fighting early and often under the UFC banner offers little time for development.
Dern, in this case is in a worse position because unlike Northcutt and O’Malley, who some fans can laugh along with, she is instead being laughed at. Her mysterious accent since residing in Brazil hurts her likability. She entered the promotion known for her wicked jiu-jitsu skills, but in her UFC introduction she failed to put her black belt on display. It’s too early to write her off, but the botched weight cut is another example of the previously Arizona native shooting herself in the foot.
If she is successful tomorrow night, an asterisk will find itself alongside her win and she’ll be forced to answer more questions regarding her weight, which she explicitly said she does not enjoy doing. Dern ballooning up in weight in between fights taking place two months apart is not a good indication of her ability to be counted on to show up on fight night.
If Dern were to move up to flyweight, which she was two pounds away from making today, then it would not only be beneficial to her health, but gain her respect among her peers. Moving up an extra ten pounds despite being the same height as Michelle Waterson will put Dern’s level of intelligence and heart on display for fans to see. It’s also worth noting that regardless of how disliked Dern has been, the current UFC women’s 125-pound champion, Nicco Montano might give Dern a run for her money.