American-Brazilian Strawweight fighter Mackenzie Dern revealed a difficult circumstance she faces before her UFC 295 bout against Jessica Andrade. Dern went through a messy and public divorce that took a toll on her. However, the aftermath of her divorce involves her paying her whole fight purse to her ex-husband.
Before facing Angela Hill in May, Dern was going through a divorce with professional surfer Wesley Santos. Their divorce proceedings and the allegations the couple has leveled against each other have been coming to light since 2022.
They first made news when Dern revealed Santos had a physical altercation with one of her trainers. Later, Dern publicly accused Santos of physically abusing her and her dogs. Santos denied the allegations stating Dern is an MMA fighter and he would not do something like that. He released a written statement expressing disappointment at the allegations.
Mackenzie Dern opens up on her divorce.
“It’s crazy for me cause I always want to represent someone who can stand up for themselves and can defend themselves for all the women out there – so for me to see myself in that situation was really hard.”
Tough to hear. Very open… pic.twitter.com/jNARpjyvTP
— AFeldmanMMA (@afeldMMA) May 24, 2023
According to MMA Fighting, a court ruling earlier this year stated that she was the primary earner of the house, therefore, she had to pay Santos spousal allowance. The couple also has a three-year-old daughter named Moa.
“I realized we always have problems,” Dern said during UFC 295 media day. “Just the pressure. The last one I went through the divorce. The divorce is final but you don’t realize how much aftermath there is to it. Literally, this whole fight is still paying my ex. It’s crazy, I have to get punched in the face and you work so hard and you do all this and you have to like pay that much of something.”
Mackenzie Dern talks about the stresses of camp on the run up to her fight against Jessica Andrade at #UFC295
Full video at MMACrazy on YouTube ▶️ pic.twitter.com/rRtD3wphn3
— MMA Crazy (@MMACrazy) November 8, 2023
Dern also explained that her gym RVCA had closed down this year. This added to the rollercoaster she rides before every fight. She had to make a home gym where she trained for her fights and also trained with former two-division champion Henry Cejudo.
Mackenzie Dern does not want to use her personal life as an excuse for her performance in the Octagon
Dern revealed several personal life issues that she was facing, however, she did not want to use them as an excuse. She claimed that this was something many fighters face and it is not new for her. Dern also referenced Andrade’s divorce. The former UFC Strawweight champion revealed she was going through a divorce with her wife.
Dern said, “I’m here, everything’s good, you know, my daughter’s safe. healthy. I’m good. The house is okay and you just keep going, you know.”
— Legionnaire Combat Sports (@Legionnairecsn) November 8, 2023
Dern is a former Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world champion. She made her MMA debut in 2016 and went 7-0 before facing her first defeat. After her latest win against Hill in May, she holds a record of 13-3. On the other hand, Andrade is on a three-match losing streak and holds a record of 24-12.