Nov 11, 2023; New York, NY, USA; Jessica Andrade (red gloves) fights Mackenzie Dern (blue gloves) during UFC 295 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Brown Critiques Mackenzie Dern’s Performance at UFC 295

UFC Veteran Advises Dern on Improving Fighting Skills Post-Defeat

Mackenzie Dern, a multi-time grappling champion and once a rising star in the UFC strawweight division, faces a critical juncture in her career after a knockout loss to Jessica Andrade at UFC 295. This marks her first career knockout defeat and leaves her with a record of 2-3 in her last five UFC appearances. Dern’s journey has been further complicated by personal struggles, including a divorce and changes in her training environment.

UFC welterweight Matt Brown, a self-proclaimed fan of Dern, expressed disappointment in her performance against Andrade, especially in the striking department.

“Mackenzie Dern looked so fucking terrible,”

Brown commented on The Fighter vs. The Writer, noting her need for significant improvement in standup fighting. He also mentioned the absence of striking coach Jason Parillo in Dern’s corner, a factor that might have contributed to her struggles against Andrade.

Brown emphasized the importance of rigorous training camps and stepping out of comfort zones, drawing a parallel with Tony Ferguson’s current regime with David Goggins. He believes fighters should undergo challenging training to prepare adequately for fights.

A notable aspect of the bout was Dern’s grappling attempt, which Brown criticized for its technique, particularly highlighting the inefficacy of head-arm throws in women’s UFC fights. He urges female fighters to abandon this technique unless they are exceptionally skilled in it.

Brown also acknowledged the personal challenges both Andrade and Dern faced, including their divorces, but stressed that such issues should not affect UFC performances. Drawing from his own experiences, he understands the impact of personal life on professional fighting but insists on the necessity of mental focus during fights.

Looking ahead, Brown sees potential in Dern’s career but notes that her progress depends on her commitment to improving her standup and wrestling skills, alongside maintaining her renowned jiu-jitsu prowess. Brown believes Dern has the potential to reach the top level but must dedicate herself to developing her skills comprehensively.

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