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After ‘painful’ transition to MMA, Mackenzie Dern already eyes UFC belt

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One of the best grapplers in the world is about to make her transition to mixed martial arts, and it wasn’t an easy one. Multiple-time jiu-jitsu world champion, and one-time ADCC winner, Mackenzie Dern decided to jump to the MMA world in 2015, and her first steps at MMA Lab were painful.

“It was hard, and a lot different from my training in jiu-jitsu,” Dern told MMA Fighting. “I’m always too emotional during my camps. I’m the type of person that is always worse in training then when I’m competing. I get submitted in training, swept, and everything goes right in the tournaments. I get emotional in my jiu-jitsu camps, and I felt this way in my MMA camp.”

Dern makes her MMA debut at Friday’s Legacy FC 58 event in Lake Charles, La, facing fellow newcomer Kenia Rosas. In her early days as a MMA fighter in the gym, Dern thought she would never be able to succeed.

“Wow, I feel like it’s a sore, painful fight every day,” she said. “You get punched in the face, kick someone else’s elbows sometimes — especially me, a beginner. Sometimes I threw a kick or a knee and hit the wrong spot. That’s really hard. You feel your body. I’m not a black belt in MMA yet, I’m a beginner, so it’s hard to be 100 percent confident, but my coaches always remind me that the girl I’m fighting is also a beginner. I train with some of the best fighters in the world in the UFC, so I can’t be frustrated or discouraged because the girl I’m fighting is at the same level. That’s why I’m confident in this fight.”

Daughter of jiu-jitsu legend Wellington “Megaton” Dias, “Megatinha” was knocked down a few times in her first training sessions, and a punch to ….View full article

Source:: mma fighting