Mackenzie Dern’s return to the cage didn’t go as planned.
The UFC women’s strawweight contender suffered a loss in the main event of Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 211 in Las Vegas when she came up short in a majority decision against China’s Yan Xiaonan.
But it wasn’t just the loss to Yan (15-3 MMA, 6-2 UFC) that hurt Dern (12-2 MMA, 7-2 UFC), it was also the fact that the jiu-jitsu champion was able to get Yan to the ground multiple times and not get the finish.
“I didn’t do what I came to do,” Dern said on the ESPN+ post-fight show. “My goal was if I got it to the ground, I should be finishing it. I have the best jiu-jitsu, I believe, in the women’s division. I had lots of opportunities to finish, and she was just a better fighter than me. I just couldn’t (finish her).”
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With this result, Dern now is 1-2 in her past three bouts. She said she thinks she’s evolved, but wasn’t able to show it in the cage. Either way, the journey continues and Dern will look to learn from this defeat.
“I feel like I’ve been getting so (much) better, and it sucks not being able to show it in the fight,” Dersn explained. “I have so much to grow, and it’s all part of the journey. I just thank Dana (White), the UFC, my team, the (Mark) Zuckerberg family for being there and making this such a great event.
“I mean, I’m sorry if I made anyone sad with my performance. So many people believed in me, and I believed in myself, but it’s part of the game.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC Fight Night 211.