Despite securing the biggest win of her career at UFC 224, strawweight prospect Mackenzie Dern was bombarded with criticism for entering her bout with Amanda Cooper a massive seven pounds overweight on fight night.
The multiple-time Brazilian Jiu Jitsu world champion was fined 30 percent of her fight purse and voluntarily gave Cooper fifteen percent of her win bonus as a token of gratitude for accepting the bout despite the weight cutting complications, according to a recent interview with Ariel Helwani.
“I’m not surprised. She got 30 percent of the purse, which was my penalty — usually it’s only 20 percent, but because I was so much heavier it went up to 30 percent,” Dern said on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour, per MMA Fighting’s Peter Carroll.
“I think she was confident in the fight. I think she thought she was going to win and everything. If I was confident and I was getting 30 percent and we were giving her an extra 15 percent too — if I won I would give her 15 percent of the bonus extra too — I would have accepted the fight too.
“I was hoping she would. I was really grateful she accepted the fight”.
Dern, who submitted Cooper after landing a big overhand right in the first round, is still in good spirits despite the overwhelming criticism and admits to even laughing at some of the memes posted online.
“It’s kind of crazy. I see people putting hamburgers in my hands. I want to take it serious and I want to show that this won’t happen again, but with some of the memes and stuff I have to laugh. It’s kind of crazy.”
Dern said she was ‘ashamed’ of her failed weight cut in the aftermath of UFC 224, and told reporters she would be working closely with staff at the UFC Performance Institute to get her weight ‘under control’.
The Brazilian doubled-down on that sentiment on The MMA Hour, telling Helwani that she guarantees to never miss weight again.
“I want to stay at strawweight. Hopefully, with the help of UFC Performance Institute it will be a lot easier and it will all be under control. If they told me, ‘It’s not good for you to fight at 115’, then I would go to 125. I’ve made 115 before, three times, so I think it’s a better weight for me.”
“I can guarantee [that I won’t miss weight again],” she stated.
Despite missing weight at UFC 224, Dern’s win over Cooper was enough catapult the 25-year-old into the top-fifteen strawweight rankings.