Former Teammate Lauren Murphy Says There is No Ill Will Whatsoever with Mackenzie Dern

Lauren Murphy addresses Mackenzie Dern's recent exit from the MMA Lab and how there are no bad feelings between the team and highly touted prospect.

Mackenzie Dern may have split with her old team at the MMA Lab in Arizona but that doesn’t mean there’s suddenly bad blood with the gym or the training partners she used to work alongside.

Dern revealed just ahead of her last fight against Amanda Cooper that she was asked to leave the MMA Lab before relocating her training camp to California where she worked before her bout at UFC 224.

According to Dern, part of the reason she was asked to leave was based around her commitment to the gym as she was routinely traveling in between fight camps including months spent in Brazil.

While the split may have seemed like there was bad blood brewing between fighter and team, former training partner Lauren Murphy says that couldn’t be further from the truth.

“I saw her at UFC Glendale and I gave her a great big hug and we talked a little bit. There really isn’t any ill will and sometimes people fit in better places and that girl was born to be on a beach,” Murphy said ahead of her fight at UFC Fight Night in Utica. “I don’t think anybody can dispute that. She really loves and respects Leo Vieira. It’s fine.

“Wherever she’s going to be comfortable and I want her to have nothing but success. I want her to be happy. Everybody at the Lab kind of wishes her the best.”

Murphy says the only thing that was disputed from Dern’s statement about leaving the gym was the timing of her exit with her upcoming fight against Cooper scheduled in May.

It sounded like Dern was suddenly uprooted in the middle of her training camp and asked to exit the gym but Murphy says that wasn’t the case.

Even that doesn’t really get a rise out of Murphy as she believes if anything Dern may have misspoke about the timing of her exit rather than trying to bash her former team in public.

“I don’t think it’s fair to say the MMA Lab kicked her out in the middle of her camp. That was the only thing that kind of irked me,” Murphy explained. “I didn’t think that was an appropriate statement to make but I think Mackenzie is a nice person. I don’t think she was being malicious or unkind. She’s doing an interview, she was kind of on the spot, she just fought, she was getting all this s–t for missing weight and sometimes s–t just comes out and if she had a second to think about it, she would have said something different. So I can understand that and respect it.

“I really don’t have anything bad to say about Mackenzie. I do miss training with Mackenzie because she’s a really nice person and she’s really talented. Of course you want a female like that in the gym to train with. I miss Mackenzie a lot.”

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Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the industry since 2003 with bylines on FOX Sports, CNN, Bleacher Report and numerous other outlets.