Mackenzie Dern: Accent, Sherdog, Next Fight, UFC & Net Worth

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Women are truly dangerous creatures when they are passionate and determined about something.

Just after giving birth, Mackenzie Dern returned to one of the competitive and physically taxing sports, UFC(Ultimate Fighting Championship). For the information, she returned four months after her daughter’s birth.

Blessed with athleticism and trained by her parents, Mackenzie learned martial arts from an early age.

Thanks to her quick adaptability and discipline, Dern has been successful in his professional martial arts career.

Mackenzie Dern
Mackenzie Dern is a professional UFC fighter.

Not to mention, Mackenzie is a former world no. 1 ranked IBJJF competitor and is ranked sixth in the female division. Added to that, she is also a black belt holder in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Putting her achievements to light, today, we will focus more on Dern’s life. We will also include information on her life, career, and more. Make sure to read till the end to find more.

Mackenzie Dern: Quick Facts

Full Name Mackenzie Lynne Dern Santos
Birth Date March 24, 1993
Birth Place Phoenix, Arizona, US
Known as Mackenzie Dern
Religion Unknown
Nationality American
Ethnicity Brazilian descent
Education Ironwood High School
Horoscope Aries
Father’s Name Wellington “Megaton” Dias
Mother’s Name  Luciana Tavares (Step-mother)
Siblings Two half-siblings
Age 31 Years Old
Height 5 feet 4 inches (163 cm)
Weight 52 kgs(115 lbs)
Build Athletic
Eye color Dark brown
Profession Professional Mixed Martial Artist
Active years 2016-present
Division Strawweight
Team Tristar Gym
Rank A black belt in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu
Marital Status Married
Spouse Wesley Santos (a professional surfer)
Kid Moa Dern Santos (daughter)
Net Worth  around $1.5 million
Social Media Instagram, Twitter
Merch UFC VENUM Mackenzie Dern Authentic Fight Night Women’s Walkout Jersey
Last Update May, 2024

Who is Mackenzie Dern? Where is she from?

The former number 1, Mackenzie Dern, is a professional mixed martial artist and UFC fighter. Her full name is Mackenzie Lynne Dern Santos.

Born in the city of Phoenix, Arizona, the United States of America, she is the daughter of Wellington “Megaton” Dias, a highly praised grappling competitor, and her step-mother, Luciana Tavares, a black belt holder herself.

So, in a sense, Dern grew up knowing martial arts. As expected, she followed the steps of her parents and began training at the age of three.

Likewise, supported by her parents, Dern started competing at a young age and later in the adult divisions at 14.

Apart from her early training, Dern has two half-siblings: Korah and Merrick. Despite being born as an American citizen, she is originally of Brazilian descent.

As part of her upbringing, Dern is fluent in Portuguese, her primary tongue, and English.

Also, this American martial artist graduated from Ironwood High School in Glendale, Arizona. But after that, she pursued her professional career in martial art.

How old is Mackenzie Dern?- Age and Body Measurements

Surrounded by professional martial artists, Mackenzie Dern grew up picking those up from her early age at three.

Twenty-five years, Dern is 31 Years Old and is still pursuing her career as an MMA fighter. Likewise, she was born on March 24, 1993, under the star sign of Aries.

Not to mention, the people of this sign are known to be fierce and competitive. Guess we know where her competitive side comes from!

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Blessed with athleticism and supported parents, Dern stands at 5 feet 4 inches and weighs around 52 kgs.

But in martial art, rather than how you are built, you use them that is more important. Also, a black belt holder in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Dern, follows a rigorous training regime to keep her ready for a fight.

Similarly, her typical day of training starts with a morning run, breakfast and rest, and then sparring in the gym.

She does wrestling, striking, and grappling session depending on the day of the week. Even today, Dern practices at her father’s academy, BJJ, who also happens to be her inspiration, trainer, and biggest supporter.

Professional MMA Career

As already stated, Dern learned everything regarding martial arts from her parents. They have been very supportive of her career, and she has achieved more success doing this.

Before she turned 20, Dern won a world championship in every belt as she progressed to a black belt rank. Likewise, Mackenzie is also the only female Jiu-Jitsu competitor to have won Gold medals at the Black Belt level.

In November 2017, Mackenzie fought under Legacy Fighting Alliance with a 4-0 before signing with Invicta Fighting Championship.

She finally made her debut on December 8, 2017, at Invicta FC 26: Maia vs. Niedzweidz against Kaline Medeiros. Dern won the fight via an armbar in round three.

Mackenzie Dern UFC and MMA
Mackenzie Dern inside the ring

Likewise, Dern made her promotional debut on March 3, 2018, at UFC 222. She won the match against Ashley Yoder via a split decision.

Following that, he faced Amanda Cooper on May 12 at UFC 224. But since she weighed over seven pounds of strawweight non-title fight, Mackenzie had to fine 30% of her purse.

Mackenzie Dern’s first MMA loss

Despite all the troubles, Dern won the fight via submission through a rear-naked choke in the first round.

After taking a short break following her pregnancy, Mackenzie made a comeback on October 12, 2019, against Amanda Ribas at UFC on ESPN+ 19. Sadly, she lost her fight via unanimous decision.

Also, on April 25, 2020, she was expected to face Ariane Carnelossi at UFC Fight Night 173 but was forced to withdraw due to travel restrictions.

Just like this, another fight with Hannah Cifers was also postponed. Luckily, their fight eventually took place on May 30, 2020, at UFC on ESPN: Woodley vs. Burns. 

Moreover, Mackenzie swept the victory with a first-round kneebar, making her the first woman to finish a fight by any form of leg lock in UFC history.

That night, she also got her first Performance of the Night award. Following that, she faced Randa Markos on September 19, 2020, at UFC Fight Night 178.

Mackenzie won the fight easily via submission in the first round. Not to mention, Dern also got her second straight Performance of the Night award at that time.

IBJJF Records

Main Achievements:

  • IBJJF World Champion (2015)
  • IBJJF World No-Gi Champion (2015*)
  • UAEJJF Abu Dhabi World Pro Champion (2015**)
  • IBJJF Pan American Champion (2016/2015)
  • FIVE Super League Champion (2015)
  • IBJJF European Open Champion (2016/2015)
  • Copa Podio Superfight Champion (2013)

Main Achievements (Colored Belts):

  • IBJJF World Champion (2012** brown, 2011 purple, 2010/2009/2008 blue)
  • IBJJF World No-Gi Champion (2012/2011** brown, 2010/2009 blue + purple)
  • IBJJF Pan American Champion (2012 brown, 2011 purple)
  • FIVE Super League Champion (2015)
  • IBJJF European Open Champion (2012 brown, 2011** purple, 2010 blue)

Defeating Gabi Garcia

Mackenzie took the whole Mixed Martial Arts by storm when she managed to defeat nine times Women’s world champion, Gabi Garcia, despite a huge weight difference in BJJ Open Weigh Tourny.

Mackenzie almost outpointed the 90 kg, Garcia, with herself weighing 55 kg back then. You can also click here to see her interview after the major knock-out.


Everything was just not rosy for the grappling phenom Mackenzie Dern. She had to also go through the path of sufferings to achieve something.

She went through a knee injury that relates to a medial collateral ligament (MCL) suffered at the World Championships in early June in 2018. It took her six weeks to catch training after the surgery.

Moreover, Mackenzie’s third victory in 2020 against Virna Jandiroba via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28), at UFC 256 on Saturday, Dec. 12 was a result that happened after she broke her nose.

Is Mackenzie Dern married? Husband and Personal Life

Apart from making a successful career in MMA and UFC, Mackenzie Dern is also successful in her love life.

Yes, the 27 years old UFC fighter is a married woman who tied the knot with her boyfriend, Wesley Santos. For those who don’t know, Wesley is a professional surfer.

The couple for a short time and were first seen publicly around mid-2018. After that, the two walked down the aisle, and just on June 9, 2019, they welcomed their first child, a daughter named Moa.

Not to mention, Dern took a break from her career to give birth to her child.

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Likewise, on June 10, Dern went to her social media and introduced her daughter to the world.

At the moment, the small family seems to be living a blissful life. Will Moa also choose the same path as her mother and grandfather? Only time can tell.

Mackenzie Family
Mackenzie Family

Moreover, Dern has not been linked with any rumors or allegations after her marriage. But the case was not the same before.

In 2018, the professional UFC fighter was rumored to date Marcus Buchecha Almeida and even spotted hanging out at parties. Sadly, they parted ways later that year.

Before her marriage with Santos, Dern was engaged to her then-fiance, Augusto Tanquinho Mendes.

The two got popular as Jiu-Jitsu couples. However, for some unknown reason, they called off their engagement and parted ways.

Mackenzie Dern’s husband, Wesley Santos, gets rough with Coach Juan Gomez.

This week, the UFC world was buzzing with a physical altercation between coach Juan Gomez and surfer Wesley Santos. Sadly, the striking coach is more worried about his career than his physical injuries.

Wesley, who is better known as the husband of UFC fighter, Mackenzie Dern, clashed with the coach after Gomez called her and Santos to the Black House gym in Los Angeles.

Similarly, she believes it was related to monetary compensation regarding her last fight. To clarify, Gomez was right alongside Dern’s father, Wellington, and coach, Bubba Jenkins, during her win over Hannah Cifers at UFC on ESPN 9 this May.

When the media approached Gomez, he did not dive into what exactly caused the rift between them but stated how he still has “love” and “respect” for Mackenzie and her husband.

“It hurts me when I saw this interview from her speaking about the bonus, which is something that was never my priority. Never. It’s something that people need to know the truth. What happened between me and her husband was nothing about money or bonus. It was numerous factors that built up. It was something not a big deal at all, I thought we flipped the page.”

Moreover, he also clarified how he already approached Dern and apologized.

“A couple of days ago, I approached her friend, her wrestling coach, that I wanted to say sorry to her. Because in the end I still like her. In the end, I see our friendship. I want the best for her. I wish her the best in this fight.”

However, Gomez did state the issue that existed between him and Santos that led to them butting heads.

Apparently, it all began after Santos began taking more responsibility for Dern’s fights. Even though he does not consider Santos to be “a bad person,” Gomez clearly feels that Santos lacks knowledge regarding the MMA world.

What’s up with Mackenzie’s accent?

In April 2021, Mackenzie once again gave continuity to her winning tag with a victory against Nina Nunes but people started commenting on her accent, Is it fake or she naturally ends up speaking like this?

Lety’s get this clear. For people who want to know, Is Mackenzie Dern Brazilian? 

The answer is no. Mackenzie is an American professional mixed martial arts fighter originally from Phoenix, Arizona.

But yes, this origin of her does not stop grabbing a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and also was previously IBJJF number one ranked female and a two-time BJJ world champion. 

Mackenzie’s father is a famous BJJ black belt Wellington “Megaton” Dias from Rio de Janeiro. And she is married to a professional Brazillian surfer who again speaks Portuguese at home.

Basically, while Mackenzie is a US netizen, her lineage falls under Brazillian roots. Also, she kept traveling between Brazil and Arizona with her father in her younger days to practice her art.

Mackenzie was also asked about the accent many times but she took it as a compliment. Moreover, she was amazed to see then fact how people are giving much more attention to her accent than her performance.

Dern with the UFC reporter Ariel Helwani discussed videos designed by fans that show the evolution of Dern’s accent from quintessential Arizonian to hefty Brazilian drawl. She just laughed off the matter.

Moreover, a video went viral where she was answering in scouse accent native language to Liverpool again after spending a day in Liverpool.

Following the footsteps of UFC Lightweight Champion Conor McGregor

After overcoming a battle with former Golden Gloves champion Katherine Roy at LFA 6, on March 10, 2017, grappling wonder Mackenzie Dern has admitted that she is jumping into UFC.

Mackenzie also disclosed her plans to follow the path of Conor McGregor.

Reportedly, She has also signed with Paradigm Sports Management which has a number of mixed martial arts’ biggest names linked with it, Conor McGregor, Israel Adesanya, Michael Page, and Cris Cyborg.

Net Worth and Income Estimation

From what we know, Mackenzie’s income comes from her career as a martial artist. But despite the wins and her successful career, Dern’s exact net worth as of now is still under review. Her exact earnings are also not revealed for public knowledge.

But yes, aligning with the online sources, few have claimed her net worth to be around $1.5 million. 

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During her first fight, Dern took home $50,000 and took another $29,000 with $3,500 fight week incentive pay from her second UFC bout at UFC 224.

Sadly, as hefty as the income is, UFC also fines heavy amounts for not following regulations.

Mackenzie learned it the hard way when she had to pay $13,050 for missing weight for the strawweight division.

Social Media Presence

Instagram–  829k Followers

Twitter–  43.8k Followers

Frequently Asked Question

When did Mackenzie Dern receive her black belt?

At the age of 19, on December 1st, 2012, she was awarded her Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Kriti is a senior content writer and editor for biography, news, and gossips. She has previously worked for TVShowStars under the alias "Kira." Besides being an avid reader and anime fan, she loves perusing through YouTube/Spotify and discovering Indie bands.

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