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Mackenzie Dern: I want to be the first mother to win a UFC championship belt

UFC strawweight Mackenzie Dern wants to be the first mother to win a UFC title.

MMA: UFC 224- Dern vs Cooper Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

UFC strawweight Mackenzie Dern recently announced that she would be expecting her first child last month, but she is also targeting a return to the Otagon later this year and wants to be the first mother to win a UFC title.

The undefeated Dern (7-0) made her UFC debut almost exactly a year ago, defeating Ashley Yoder by split decision. She has only fought one other time, defeating Amanda Cooper by first-round submission, a fight in which she missed weight by seven pounds for.

Talking to MMA Fighting, Dern outlined her plans to return to the Octagon around October, but said it depends on how her pregnancy goes.

“I don’t even know if I’m having a normal delivery or a C-section. Everything makes a difference,” Dern said. “But I’m confident that I’ll fight in October. That’s what I told my manager. My husband travels a lot but he’s a surfer, he trains in the morning and has a flexible work schedule, so he helps me a lot.”

Dern, who is a popular figure due to her physical appearance, has said she has actually lost fans due to announcing her pregnancy with her husband Wesley Santos, who is also a professional surfer.

“Many people say ‘she’s lucky because she’s pretty and the UFC likes her, gives her easy fights, and she can do whatever she wants,’ but it’s not like that. My fans… Actually, I lost many fans when I posted a picture with my husband announcing the pregnancy. But I like that it’s changing a bit. It’s no longer those fans that are looking a pretty girl fighting, but fans that really cheer for you during your daily battles and like you for what you do. That’s really cool. That really is motivating.”

Although a few have challenged for a belt, there has currently never been a women to have a child before winning a UFC title. Upon hearing this news, Dern said she wants to be the first to achieve this accolade.

“The first mother? No mother ever did it? I didn’t even know that,” Dern said. “I have another goal now: be the first mother to win a championship belt in the UFC.”

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