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Dern says MMA Lab coach asked her to leave after UFC debut

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Mackenzie Dern recently revealed that she is no longer training with the famed MMA Lab team in Arizona.

When Mackenzie Dern started her professional MMA run in 2016, she began training under John Crouch at the MMA Lab facility in Arizona. But apparently, that engagement had just recently ended.

During a recent media lunch in Los Angeles, the multiple-time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gold medalist revealed that Crouch himself asked her to leave the team after her UFC debut at UFC 222 in March against Ashley Yoder.

“In relation with the Lab, after my last fight, Coach [John] Crouch, he just invited me to leave the team,” Dern said (via MMA Fighting). “I think really we don’t have a 100-percent understanding. I think he knows his decisions more than me. I think with just the consistency, he wanted me to be there more often than what I was, but everything happens for a reason.”

The 25-year-old Dern has since moved her training to California, switching from the Checkmat gym in Los Angeles for her jiu-jitsu training, and at Black House MMA for striking. According to her, the decision to switch locations was also about the environment that she was in.

“I’m not just training. I’m not the person that the next day I’m back in the academy,” Dern said. “I like to be able to be on the beach and relax and miss to be on the mats and want to be on the mats. I don’t like to feel the pressure to be on the mats.

“I’m on the mats since I’m 3 years old. For me, at 25, when I have the time to rest and everything, then the next time, it’s like man I want to train. I like to have that drive.”

In a separate statement, Crouch pointed out that Dern was having a difficult time with the training set-up in Arizona, which was why he advised her to make the move.

“She was struggling to make it back and forth to Arizona, and I thought it was better that she just set up her camp in California, where she really enjoys being,” Crouch said. “I wish her the best.”

“I know she’s going to do great in her jiu-jitsu career and in her MMA career, and we’ll be cheering for her.”

Dern is currently scheduled for her second UFC fight against Amanda Cooper, which takes place at UFC 224 on May 12th in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


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