Mackenzie Dern wants to be UFC champion … showing women can give birth AND kick ass in the Octagon — proving you can be both an athlete and mom.
“I’m really just hoping that they have more mom champs. If I’m the first, you know that gave birth, I think it would be a big inspiration for a lot of people,” Dern tells TMZ Sports.
We talked to 28-year-old Dern — the 4th ranked strawweight — days before her fight against 5th ranked Marina Rodriguez at UFC Fight Night on Saturday.
Remember, Dern returned to the Octagon ONLY 4 months after giving birth to her adorable daughter, Moa. She lost the fight to Amanda Ribas … but the feat was still incredible.
Since, Dern’s won 4 straight … and a win tonight could propel her into a title fight with the winner of Rose Namajunas vs. Zhang Weili (they’re fighting in November.)
Mackenzie says she faced some unforeseen consequences after getting pregnant … so becoming champ would be extra special.
“I lost sponsors, I lost fans, I lost a lot of things. People were like, you’re not gonna come back,” Dern says.
“Just to show that a mom can be at the highest level of mixed martial arts, ya know? This is not amateur fighting. This is the best of the best. I’ll feel more like everything happened for a reason.”
Of course, there have been mom champs in the past, including the greatest female fighter ever, Amanda Nunes. The Lioness’ wife, UFC fighter Nina Nunes carried the couple’s baby.
If Dern were to win the belt, she’d become the first mom to ever give birth and then go on to be champion.