UFC women’s strawweight Mackenzie Dern suffered some serious weight management issues for her latest octagon performance. Now the fighter has come forward to address the matter.
Amanda Cooper ultimately accepted a catchweight bout against Dern for UFC 224 on Saturday, May 12. Dern missed weight for the event by a staggering total of 7.4 pounds, drawing the ire of several UFC competitors. After all, Dern has now missed weight in three of her seven MMA outings.
Still, Dern would go on to earn a swift first round submission victory over her opponent. Speaking on the latest edition of The MMA Hour, the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ace offered some details on the botched weight cut.
“I started to get nervous on Thursday night.”
“I spoke to my manager. In Vegas, I had a close weight cut, but in Vegas I was 100 percent positive I was going to make the weight even though I was the last one to weigh in. In Brazil, I told my manager on Thursday, ‘This isn’t like Vegas where the whole time I’m positive.’
“On Thursday night, I was doing a lot of hours in the sauna and the weight wasn’t coming off; I was just losing 500 grams or 600 grams for every two hours. I told [my manager], ‘I don’t think I’m going to lose this many kilos in 24 hours.”
“We woke up 5:30 and went to the sauna, did everything again for two hours and the weight wasn’t coming off. I was sweating, and then I’d go to the scale, but nothing had come off.”
“[The commission] said, ‘If you keep going then we won’t have a chance to do that fight because you won’t be able to move, if we have to do a catchweight or something you have to stop now’. It was 9 o’clock already when they made the decision,” she remembered.
“The UFC doctors were there, they went to sauna, they met me there. They were the ones who made the decision; it wasn’t me who wanted to stop. I went to the bathroom to check my weight and when I came back they put me on the chair and they started to give me some ice and I said, ‘No, I need to cut weight!’ They told me to drink and I didn’t understand why.”
“I felt my body not reacting well. The other times I didn’t make weight it was in my head. I started to trip out a little — well, not a little, a lot — that my body was shutting down.”
“For this one, I felt like my mind was right, but I remember telling my coaches, ‘It’s hard for me to stand up’, I started to feel it in my legs. Then I went to the sauna two more times and then I wasn’t able to stand up anymore. The water came out of my legs and the muscles in my legs were starting to not respond. They thought I wouldn’t be able to fight.”
“[The commission] wanted to pull me on Tuesday when I arrived. I said, ‘No, it’s okay, I just flew 14 hours and I drank a lot of water and I didn’t do any exercise, of course I’m going to be heavy’, but they made me make a weight the next day.
“I dehydrated two days early to show I could make a weight. When I made that weight on Wednesday, they allowed me to keep on cutting. It was a little bit crazy the weight cut because I had to do a pre-dehydration to show I could make the weight on Wednesday.”
“When I arrived I weight 139 pounds and a half. And then, on Wednesday, I was 131.”
“It’s not typical, I like to arrive at the fight week at 120, but honestly when I got there on Tuesday I wasn’t scared yet because I was on the plane and everything and I was drinking. For me, it was still possible.”