Being 1-2 in her last three fights is probably a huge sign of facing a major setback for Mackenzie Dern as she losses for the third time in her MMA career, this time to China’s Xiaonan Yan. Dern is regardless 12-3 in her overall MMA career and can look forward to resetting herself from the time when she was dominating fights and finishing her opponents with her phenomenal jiu-jitsu techniques.
But lately, Dern has faced some major issues in implementing her advantages and has shown some loopholes in her wrestling and her striking against some top competition like Yan and future title prospect Marin Rodriguez. In an interview with Megan Olivi under ESPN MMA, Dern reflects on her loss to Yan and what’s heartbreaking is you can hear her voice cracking due to disappointment in herself.
“I didn’t do what I came to do,” said Dern. “My goal was if I got it to the ground I should be finishing it, you know. I have the best Jiu-Jitsu I believe in the women’s division, so, I had a lot of opportunities to finish, and she was just the better fighter, I just couldn’t… It’s to not be able to show it in the fight but, I have so much for growth and it’s all part of the journey…” she continued.
Mackenzie Dern not surprised by Xiaonan Yan’s grappling
Dern moved on from talking about herself to talking more about Xiaonan Yan’s performance who just came back into the win column from a 2-fight skid. Yan is now 16-3 in her overall career and trains at Team Alpha Male under head coach and UFC Hall of Famer Urijah Faber.
“I knew that I am gonna have to like, break her arm or put her to sleep, you know, she’s tough, that’s what I was seeing the whole time coming here, she’s a tough girl you know, I knew she wasn’t going to tap easily so, and then in standing, she hits hard, the first couple of punches were [hard]… I knew this was going to be a dog fight but I really thought I was gonna submit her…” said Dern.
What do you make of post-fight reactions of Dern? Do you think she didn’t give her best or is that really all she has to offer? What do you think is next for Dern? Do you think Yan is next in line for a title shot at strawweight?