Mackenzie Dern: Jiu Jitsu Royalty
When it comes to women in Jiu Jitsu, there is no bigger star than Mackenzie Dern. Mackenzie was born into Jiu Jitsu royalty. Her father is Wellington “Megaton” Dias, who is a BJJ legend, a multiple time champion and an 8th degree black belt under Royler Gracie. Mackenzie started training at a young age and started competing in the adult divisions as only a teen. A true master, and highly skilled with her open guard, she has won such prestigious titles such as the Worlds, the Pan American Championships and the FIVE Super League Championships. Here are some of Mackenzie’s best moments from 2016.
Mackenzie Dern vs Ariadne Oliveira @ 2016 World Pro
2016 was a hot year for Mackenzie Dern. She really had some great matches and moments. One of those moments was when Dern took on Oliveira. Even though Dern is known for her use of the open guard, she was able to showcase other skills in this match. For the majority of the match, she spent time on top of her opponent, showing her high level passing skills. She put Oliveira on the defense almost the entire duration of the match and ended up beating her 5 points to 0.
Mackenzie Dern vs Ana Alencar @ 2016 World Pro
At the same tournament where she defeated Oliveira, she would also beat another top level opponent in Ana Alencar. It was the opposite of her match with Oliveira. While she did work some passing early on, most of her match was spent working her famous open guard against Alencar. She was aggressive and constantly worked for sweeps and back takes against her opponent. In the end, she would be awarded the win by an advantage. It was a close, yet exciting match between two top Jiu Jitsu competitors.
Mackenzie Dern vs Michelle Nicolini @ 2016 Worlds
At the 2016 World’s, Mackenzie would take on her rival, Michelle Nicolini once more in a fantastic match up. Dern’s pressure filled passing was spotlighted again in this match. She grinded and put Nicolini on the defense from the start. Over four minutes in, Dern ended up on her back working her guard. A little over six minutes in, Mackenzie locked up an omoplata and was looking to finish. She ended up putting Nicolini in a modified crucifix with her omoplata and finished with a beautiful gi choke, taking out her rival once more.
2016 is only half over, and Mackenzie is still hustling out in the competition scene. She had her first MMA fight this year and took a decision win over a game opponent at Legacy Fighting Championships. Now on September 17th, she will be taking on Talita Alencar at F2W Pro 12 in Arizona in a gi title fight. It is sure to be another master class performance by the black belt that has ushered in some big wins in 2016!