Mackenzie Dern Announces Come Back to Jiu-Jitsu in 2024

Mackenzie Dern Announces Come Back to Jiu-Jitsu in 2024

On 8th January 2024, Mackenzie Dern, an exceptional strawweight UFC fighter and one of the best female BJJ grapplers, announced on her Instagram story that she plans to return to Jiu-Jitsu in 2024.

Dern is an American professional MMA fighter right now, but she was the best female IBJJF practitioner back then. She was born in Arizona on March 24, 1993, and began training at the age of three under her father, Wellington Dias Santos, a 7th-degree BJJ coral belt. She used to compete in adult divisions in her teens and won multiple IBJJF championships as she progressed from white to black belt. She received her black belt under her father in December 2012. Dern‘s stepmother, Luciana Tavares, is also a BJJ black belt. She helped her a lot during her BJJ career. Dern has won the titles of IBJJF World Champion Gi, IBJJF World Champion No-Gi, IBJJF Pan American Champion, ADCC World Championship, Brazilian Nationals, European Open, and Asian Open at each belt rank and was the first female BJJ black belt grappler to win a gold medal.

Dern debuted in MMA in 2015. While still practicing grappling, she decided to pursue MMA as a career after ADCC 2017. Soon after five undefeated wins, she was signed by the UFC. She holds a professional MMA record of 13 wins and 4 losses, with 7 submission wins. Due to her outstanding performances in wrestling, she ranked #7 in the UFC Women’s Strawweight Division and won the award for Most Submission Wins in the UFC Women’s Strawweight Division. 

Dern was married to Wesley Santos, a professional surfer, but later, in 2022, they got divorced. She put a hold on her MMA career in 2019 due to her pregnancy but rejoined it after her daughter was born. Recently, Dern announced on her Instagram story that she plans to return to BJJ by the middle or end of 2024, and she is pretty excited about the comeback. She said:

“When I come back to Jiu Jitsu I’m planning on coming back starting with no gi. I’m trying to get a comeback this year, by the end of the year. At the end of the year, I have a specific event that I want to do. So I’m already starting kinda training for that and yeah, I’m excited!”

Photo Credit: @mackenziedern

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