As one of many prime Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioners on the planet and the daughter of BJJ royalty, Mackenzie Dern is used to having the highlight on her. On Dec. eight, the highlight on the unbeaten prospect will glow even brighter as she makes her Invicta FC debut towards former title challenger Kaline Medeiros.

“With the opponent that they supplied and to be on UFC FIGHT PASS, and to continue to grow as an athlete and attempt to get the fan base larger and greater, this was alternative,” mentioned Arizona’s Dern, who improved to Four-Zero with a first-round submission of Mandy Polk in October. “Each struggle is making an attempt to get a brand new problem. My opponent fought for title in Invicta earlier than, so if I win this one, it can show that I’m able to go to the following step, and hopefully that’s the UFC.”

The daughter of famend jiu-jitsu participant Wellington “Megaton” Dias, the 24-year-old Dern earned world championships within the 2015 ADCC Submission Wrestling and the 2015 and 2016 World Jiu-Jitsu tournaments, establishing her as among the finest on the planet at an early age. That was simply tremendous along with her, as she didn’t need every other path than the one she was on.

“I’ve by no means been an individual who favored to review quite a bit, so I by no means might see myself doing a unique job,” she laughs. “Once I received out of college, I assumed perhaps I might go to school for vitamin to be taught that, however I by no means felt like I wished to do something in addition to struggle. That is my way of life and it’s in my blood. Clearly my dad is a fighter, my stepmom (Luciana Tavares) is a fighter, and all the things I do revolves round preventing. So I by no means thought my life can be one thing in addition to preventing. I didn’t assume I might do MMA, however I didn’t assume I might be doing the rest than struggle jiu-jitsu.”

In 2016, although, Dern made that transfer to MMA, successful a three-round unanimous determination over Kenia Rosas. With all eyes on her, the 24-year-old has continued to pile up the wins, and with every struggle shifting her one step nearer to the place she desires to be, she appears like she’s heading in the right direction as she approaches her Dec. eight task at Scottish Ceremony Temple in Kansas Metropolis.

“I’m excited,” Dern mentioned of the bout with Medeiros, who’s 5-1 in her final six, along with her solely loss being a five-round determination to present UFC standout Angela Hill. “My very first struggle I wasn’t capable of submit the lady, she was so versatile, so I did all three rounds. I felt like I used to be in a jiu-jitsu struggle, simply going from submission to submission, and I couldn’t submit her, but it surely was good to really feel that. Then I received a submission, and the following one was a number of standup, so each struggle is a unique problem.”

If she will get by way of this problem, the decision will go up as soon as once more, questioning when Dern will grace the UFC Octagon for the primary time. She is aware of it’s coming.

“Individuals have been asking that since my first one, and I’m on my fifth one now,” she laughs. “The massive distinction between then and now could be that I didn’t have an novice profession, and I most likely felt extra strain on my first struggle. I simply had one struggle and everybody’s asking in regards to the UFC. (Laughs) It’s just a little higher now. Individuals are making an attempt to develop with me.”

The UFC’s newly instituted flyweight division is already garnering loads of headlines due to the present season of The Final Fighter, and whereas Dern might go to both strawweight or flyweight relying on the place the perfect alternatives are, she does admit that she’s been watching TUF 26.

“I watched just a little bit as a result of I do know a few the women who’re on there, like Lauren Murphy, who trains with me,” she mentioned. “I do know Sijara Eubanks as a result of I fought her in jiu-jitsu numerous occasions, and I fought Montana Stewart. So I used to be watching to see how they did, and it was fairly cool for me to see as a result of I do know everybody desires me to be at 125 and it was good for me to struggle at 125 in my final struggle. However the women are a lot larger with their top and attain, and I’m making an attempt to maintain my choices open.”

Wherever Dern goes, count on pleasure to comply with. As for what followers who could also be seeing her for this primary time subsequent month ought to count on, she’s planning on bringing a present.

“Each time I’m making an attempt to evolve as a lot as I can and I’m hoping that is going to be considered one of my greatest fights,” she mentioned. “The entire struggle camp has been strictly MMA and the followers can count on to see the perfect model of me. She (Medeiros) is a reasonably good all-around fighter, so that is the most important problem and I wish to be as greatest ready as doable. So I’m hoping the followers see a Mackenzie that appears like she’s prepared for the UFC.”

Invicta FC 26 airs stay on UFC FIGHT PASS on Friday, Dec. eight

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