The LFA Report: Mackenzie Dern

The Legacy Fighting Alliance (LFA) is a leading developmental promotion to the UFC.

The daughter of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu legend Wellington “Megaton” Dias has competed in MMA for two bouts— a total fight time of 8:25—and is already making herself into a star. In her second contest, “the greatest BJJ female athlete on the planet” put on a performance that would get her nominated for “Submission of the Year” at the World MMA Awards last week.

Dern is a black belt and seven-time world championships medalist with Gi and five-time medalist in No Gi through 2012.* She would finish Montana Stewert with a combination omaplata/rear-naked choke to immediately put the MMA world on notice. You learn a few thing when you begin training at age 3.

She currently trains at The Lab in Arizona, home to former UFC champion “Smooth” Benson Henderson. The prospect said in October 2016 that she expects to make her UFC debut at some point later this year.

“The UFC talked to us already,” Dern said to USA Today’s “My team and my coaches, we talked with them, and we definitely want to – I want to be there. I’m hoping in 2017 I’ll be there. But I don’t want to get just thrown into the shark tank. I want to go in there being a shark. I don’t want to be the fish for the sharks.

“I respect all the girls there, and I know they’re at the highest level. It’s not jiu-jitsu. It’s a different sport. And I know that jiu-jitsu can help me for so long, but I know that sooner or later, I’ll have to be ready to take them down or something like that. So we’re just taking our time. I hope in 2017 I can be in the UFC. We’re just being patient and trying to get better as fast as possible. And while I’m doing that, I’m just enjoying the process.”

Dern with face former boxer Katherine Roy at a catchweight of 120 pounds tonight at LFA 6 on AXS TV. Should the UFC coming calling later on down the road, the decorated grappler already has a goal in mind: winning not one, but two championships at 115 and hopefully a future 125-pound division. Sound familiar?

“…I’ll never be able to leave jiu-jitsu. I feel that one day when I conquer everything I want in MMA, jiu-jitsu will be there for me to come back and inspire the young generation,” Dern recently told “That’s why I made this transition to MMA now. It’s the right time. Do MMA for five or six years and I’ll be fine.”

“If I can win two belts by 27, I’ll stop (fighting) earlier,” she said. “I want to win the belt and defend it, but I wanna know the right time to stop fighting. The best in the world always set new goals, but we never know when is the right time to stop…”

Aside from winning titles, a big goal of Dern’s is to eventually become a Hall of Fame member— to leave a legacy.