Dern Doubles Down After Brutal Loss At UFC 298

Mackenzie Dern suffered a unanimous decision loss against No. 3-ranked strawweight contender Amanda Lemos as part of the UFC 298 event last weekend in Anaheim, a three-round shellacking that sent the former jiu-jitsu champ to her second straight defeat.

That’s the bad news.

The good news is, the UFC 298 commentary team didn’t make her cry for her losing performance (unlike last time). Still, this marks Dern’s fourth loss across her last six fights, so it’s clearly time to reject conventional wisdom for her Octagon return later this year.

“The results weren’t what I was hoping for,” Dern wrote on Instagram. “Thank you everyone for all the support! I love doing what I do! Now, it’s time to correct the mistakes and keep up the hard work! Congrats to Amanda Lemos for an amazing fight! FOTN for us!”

The 13-5 Dern, who turns 31 in just a few weeks, somehow survived her Lemos beating without any significant damage. That’s according to UFC CEO Dana White, who praised the one-time Invicta fighter for her toughness after the dust settled in “The Golden State.”

“We were convinced that she had a broken orbital,” an incredulous White remarked at UFC 298’s post-fight press conference (watch it here). “When she went down with the eye thing, we were convinced it was a broken orbital and she fought through it. I’m shocked that it’s not [broken]. She’s so tough — so tough. She’s awesome.”

A “little badass” indeed.

Dern is likely to remain in the No. 7 spot at 115 pounds, simply because she lost to a fighter ranked much higher than her in the division. No word yet on when the recently-divorced grappler will make her return to UFC, but third quarter 2024 seems like a realistic timeline.

For more results and fallout from UFC 298 click here.

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