Place in the sun: UFC submission star Mackenzie Dern lounges on beach as aspiring ‘Mom Champ’ eyes title run after unbeaten 2020
UFC stunner Mackenzie Dern has been enjoying some sunshine at the start of a year in which she will aim to continue her ascent up the strawweight rankings towards a potential title shot.
Dern, 27, secured three wins from three fights in 2020, bouncing back after her defeat to the highly-rated Amanda Ribas in October 2019 – which to date is the only blemish in Dern’s 11-fight professional MMA career.
Dern’s victory against dangerous Brazilian Virna Jandiroba at UFC 256 in December came via unanimous decision and forced the Brazilian-American grappling sensation to overcome a suspected broken nose in the second round.
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The bout also allowed Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion Dern to showcase her rarely-seen stand-up skills, which she says she’s been working on to transform herself into a more rounded fighter as she plots a course up the 115lbs rankings – where she currently lies 11th.
Dern has made no secret of her title ambitions, saying after UFC 256: “I’m very happy with my 2020. I may fight for the belt by the end of 2021.
“Of course I wanted to fight someone ahead of me in the rankings. I’m in no rush to fight in January or February, but I’ll keep on training in case I need to fight on short notice.
“Maybe I’ll fight again in March or April. Let’s see how the ranking changes. Then it’s easier to see what’s a good fight for me.”
In the meantime, Dern has been making use of her downtime by relaxing on the beach, sharing some smiling images of herself in a bikini with her 870,000 followers.
The location was tagged as Peruíbe in the state of Sao Paulo in Brazil.
Fans were impressed, with one reply reading: “I will say your our one of the hardest work women in the game, total body transformation since you join the UFC and you’re [kicking ass]. Keep up the hard work and enjoy the time off.”
Dern’s sole defeat to Ribas – who herself is on a five-fight winning streak – came just four months after she gave birth to daughter Moa.
While the UFC already has a mother as a world title holder after two-weight queen Amanda Nunes enjoyed the arrival of her daughter with partner Nina Ansaroff in September 2020, Dern has previously said she would relish the title of ‘Mom Champ’.
A busy 2021 beckons for the popular star – but first, she’s clearly enjoying some downtime on the beach.
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