At UFC Tampa this Saturday, women’s strawweight prospect Mackenzie Dern (7-0) will only be competing in her third fight for the promotion. However, she has big goals for the future.
Dern is currently 2-0 in the UFC following wins over Ashley Yoder and Amanda Cooper in 2018. She last competed in May of that year and later took time away from the sport due to pregnancy.
And just four months after giving birth to her daughter, Dern will be returning to action against Amanda Ribas this weekend. Ribas is 7-1 and is a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu just like Dern. But the American didn’t really have Ribas on her radar or many fight options for that matter.
“I didn’t have like too many options coming back into the fight,” Dern told The Body Lock’s John Hyon Ko. “I didn’t want them to try and put me against someone in the rankings, top 15 already.
“So they said she [Ribas] had just one [UFC fight] and she was the first girl they offered. I had never heard of her. I know she’s a black belt in jiu-jitsu but I never saw her like [in] the IBJJF or anything like that which I competed at. So I wasn’t familiar with her or heard of her.”
Regardless, a win on Saturday would make it three wins out of three for Dern in the UFC.
She isn’t sure what the future holds afterward, but she does have an overall goal — becoming UFC champion in two different divisions.
“Anytime I try to do a plan, it always gets changed somehow,” she added. “My goal, of course, is to become the champion at 115. I would like to get two belts so go up to 125 after.
“Who knows? I don’t know how soon it will [happen]. For me, I could get there in the next year and a half. But I don’t really have a timeline. Overall, my goal is to become the champion and get two belts eventually.”
You can listen to the full interview below: