Elite grappler and top UFC strawweight Mackenzie Dern was just promoted to third degree BJJ black belt in the octagon during her post-fight interview at UFC Vegas 73 on May 20th, 2023. Dern put on one of the most impressive and well-rounded displays of her entire professional MMA career at the event and won a unanimous decision against Angela Hill, along with ‘Fight of the Night’ honours. It was a great fight from Dern for more than one reason, not just because she showed how incredibly high her level of grappling actually is. Alongside that, Dern also showed huge improvements to her striking game too and she won several key exchanges against the more experienced striker.
It would have been a memorable fight for Mackenzie Dern regardless, but even more so after she was given the third degree on her BJJ black belt by her father and coach Wellington ‘Megaton’ Dias. Aside from being her father Megaton is a legendary BJJ competitor and a coral belt himself, so undoubtedly his views and opinions on her performance must mean a lot. Regardless, she knew once the fight had finished that she’d won it by a pretty wide margin and she must have been incredibly happy with her performance even before receiving the promotion.
Dern has claimed that she has the best Jiu-Jitsu in women’s MMA in the past, but she consistently proves that in the cage as well. This last performance is no exception, and there’s very few women on the planet more deserving of the promotion. She was very well-respected as a BJJ competitor long before she ever stepped into the octagon and she was known as one of the best female grapplers around. Now she’s perfecting the rest of the skills she needs for MMA, she’s able to display that incredible level of grappling even more confidently and is clearly ready for the top of the strawweight division. Dern clearly knows that too, as she called out Rose Namajunas shortly after receiving the third degree on her black belt.
The full post-fight interview where Mackenzie Dern was promoted to third degree BJJ black belt was uploaded to the official YouTube channel of the UFC: