The UFC’s women’s strawweight fighter Mackenzie Dern will be stepping inside the Octagon this Sunday against Virna Jandiroba. Dern is having a successful run in 2020 so far but one thing that affected her this year is the personal disagreement between her former coach Juan Gomez and her husband Wesley Santos.
The reason for her dispute is still a little complicated as both the parties present different things but after this Dern parted ways with Gomez. Talking about this at UFC 256 pre-fight press conference Dern admitted this incident left a deep impact on her about whom she can trust. Dern says, “I felt like so bad that I spent, like, one year and a half believing some things and going through some things that now I see,”
“‘Man, that’s not normal for coaching and for fighters to go through,’ “It’s really crazy, and it definitely gave me a different vision on my camps and my life in general and my career, who I want near me to stay close, and who you open up to. It’s really dangerous, what we do is dangerous.”
“We get punched in the face, you can break your nose, you can ruin your career by knee surgeries or things like that, so it’s not to just give in the hands of people for ego or things like that. You need to be with real professionals and you need to feel good.”
“A happy fighter, a happy athlete, that’s the best camp, when you’re happy with what you’re doing and not having a different battle in your mind, and then a battle in the fight and then a battle in the family with the coaches, that’s not normal. It definitely made me think two times and now I see so much evolution and everything in my career.”
This feud led Dern to end up being in her current home base
Mackenzie Dern is now training with Parillo’s team and he is the one she knows for a really long period of time. Dern says, “I had heard of Parillo before, Pat, the owner of RVCA, he’s known me since I was a little baby from jiu-jitsu. I knew it was more of a private gym, the RVCA, so I wasn’t sure if Coach Parillo would want to train me.”
“I know that he’s trained such great fighters, Cris Cyborg, B.J. Penn who is a jiu-jitsu guy. So I really like that B.J. was jiu-jitsu and coach was able to work with him to become champion. But I was kind of nervous – ‘Man, I hope that coach will want to work with me.”
“I left The Lab and then I left this last gym, so maybe he’s gonna think that I’m a problem fighter. He said, ‘OK, come in.’ I’m so happy he did. There’s a reason why he’s one of the best in the world; it really does make a big difference.”
“The Lab was more like a team, so they had a lot of people in the UFC with big names, It was really just normal and everyone was pushing me good. Black House is a little more of a team too, but I think I do better at private gyms. The RVCA is perfect because I can just go do my thing, train.”
With a new coach on her side, she won the last fight against Randa Markos and now she is looking to win her fight at UFC 256 too and making a name for herself in the division.