Mackenzie Dern har pratat med UFC, kan debutera någon gång nästa år

Efter vinster i sina två första MMA-matcher har BJJ-stjärnan Mackenzie Dern siktet inställt på UFC.

BJJ-stjärnan Mackenzie Dern (2-0) som MMA-debuterade i somras har just nu väldigt många ögon på sig, speciellt efter submissionvinsten i den första ronden mot Montana Stewart (5-3) på Legacy FC 61 den 14 oktober, en vinst som har blivit en kandidat till Submission of the Year.

Dessa två vinster är en riktigt bra start för henne men hon är försiktig med att sätta för höga förväntningar på sig själv, förväntningar som många nu har på henne.

“Honestly, I know that sooner or later people who have those expectations are going to be disappointed,” berättade Dern för MMAjunkie. “Because I know that one day I’m not going to have a good performance. Maybe I won’t be able to submit the next fight. Who knows? For me, it’s way more normal. In my head, I’m prepared. I know I only have two MMA fights. I know that I’m new at this. I know that sometimes you can’t submit.”

“I think it’s going to teach (people who follow my career) to be patient and to see that you have good days and you have bad days. Of course, I don’t want that to happen. I’m training as hard as I can. I’m trying my best to live up to the expectations. I’m trying to be the best I can and to represent everyone. I appreciate their support, but I don’t feel the pressure from anyone.”

“I know where I am. I know I’m at the beginning of my career, and so many things can happen.”

Nu ser både hon och många andra en framtid för henne i UFC då många anser att hon skulle klara sig bra mot de bästa. Men innan hon ger sig på några av de större namnen vill hon satsa på att skaffa sig mer erfarenhet i buren. Hon pekar på att Jiu-Jitsu och MMA inte är samma sport.

“The UFC talked to us already. My team and my coaches, we talked with them, and we definitely want to – I want to be there. I’m hoping in 2017 I’ll be there. But I don’t want to get just thrown into the shark tank. I want to go in there being a shark. I don’t want to be the fish for the sharks.”

“I respect all the girls there, and I know they’re at the highest level. It’s not jiu-jitsu. It’s a different sport. And I know that jiu-jitsu can help me for so long, but I know that sooner or later, I’ll have to be ready to take them down or something like that. So we’re just taking our time. I hope in 2017 I can be in the UFC. We’re just being patient and trying to get better as fast as possible. And while I’m doing that, I’m just enjoying the process.”

Att hon satsar på sin MMA-karriär betyder inte att hon ger upp sin BJJ-karriär. Tvärtom tänker hon fortsätta med den karriär där hon nu räknas som nummer ett i världen. Hon utnyttjar sin MMA-träning för sin BJJ-träning. Hon känner att hon inte utvecklas lika mycket som BJJ-utövare.

“I like to learn and to feel like I’m getting better. Of course I’m always getting better and I’m learning, but (in jiu-jitsu) it was a little bit of the same. Like, ‘OK, I’m not growing so much. I’m growing, but very little.’ So for me to go into MMA now, I feel it’s the perfect time. My jiu-jitsu is at its best moment right now. I’m the tightest I could be with all my positions, timing, reactions and everything.”

“I didn’t slow down my jiu-jitsu, but I still feel that I’m learning so much in MMA. And it’s good to have that feeling back. That’s what motivates me – to go in there one day and have my coach show me something and seeing it works when I try it at sparring the next day. Of course in jiu-jitsu, we have new girls coming to the back belt all the time, and it’s growing. That’s why I still love to compete. But I wanted to learn again, to feel myself getting better, becoming a better athlete.”

Hon hoppas att de som har varit på hennes sida från början kommer att fortsätta se hur hon utvecklas inom MMA.

“People are being able to see my jiu-jitsu, and it’s really cool that people can see me grow as an MMA fighter. I hope that these fans that are with me now, from my very first MMA fight, I hope they can follow me all the way until I win the belt.”

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