Mackenzie Dern was one of the best female Jiu Jitsu competitors on the planet at one point in time, and she’s just revealed that she plans on returning to the sport in 2024. Dern might be known more as an MMA fighter today thanks to her status as a top 10 strawweight in the UFC, but she was an elite grappler long before she ever stepped into the cage. With Wellington ‘Megaton’ Dias as her father she was always going to grow up involved in Jiu Jitsu, but she became one of the top prospects in the sport when she won the IBJJF World Championship at every colored belt level.
She was promoted to black belt by her father in 2012 and she wasted no time in changing from a top prospect to one of the best in the world. She was a frequent fixture on the podium of major IBJJF events all around the world at both her weight and in the absolute division, with her first world title coming in 2014 when she won the IBJJF No Gi World Championship. She didn’t waste any time in adding the first gi world title to her collection as she won a gold medal there the following year, and that was also the year that she won an ADCC world title as well.
Dern made the transition to MMA in 2015 and although she continued competing in grappling events for a while, she decided to fully focus on her MMA career after ADCC 2017 and hasn’t looked back since. It proved to be a good choice, as she moved to 5-0 and was signed to the UFC the following year. She’s steadily worked her way up the strawweight rankings since then, and currently holds a 13-4 professional MMA record with 7 submission wins. Mackenzie Dern has hinted at wanting to take Jiu Jitsu matches again recently but this is the first time that she’s actually set a date for her return to sport, with a target of the end of 2024.
Mackenzie Dern revealed that she was planning on returning to Jiu Jitsu competition in 2024 in a recent story she shared to official Instagram account:
“When I come back to Jiu Jitsu I’m planning on coming back starting with no gi. I’m trying to get a comeback this year, by the end of the year. At the end of the year, I have a specific event that I want to do. So I’m already starting kinda training for that and yeah, I’m excited!”