Given that Mackenzie Dern has the potential to become the ‘next big thing’ in women’s MMA, it’s somewhat surprising to hear her confirm that she was recently asked to leave her training camp at the ‘MMA Lab’ in Arizona.
“In relation with the Lab, after my last fight, Coach [John] Crouch, he just invited me to leave the team,” Dern said yesterday at a media sitdown for her upcoming fight with Amanda Bobby Cooper at UFC 224. “I think really we don’t have a 100-percent understanding. I think he knows his decisions more than me. I think with just the consistency, he wanted me to be there more often than what I was, but everything happens for a reason.”
Crouch has since confirmed that it was his decision to ask her to seek training elsewhere.
“She was struggling to make it back and forth to Arizona, and I thought it was better that she just set up her camp in California, where she really enjoys being,” Crouch told MMAFighting.com. “I wish her the best. I know she’s going to do great in her jiu-jitsu career and in her MMA career, and we’ll be cheering for her.”
That seems amicable enough, but it does raise questions as to whether the 25-year-old is fully committed to her training regime.
“I’m not just training,” Dern said. “I’m not the person that the next day I’m back in the academy. I like to be able to be on the beach and relax and miss to be on the mats and want to be on the mats. I don’t like to feel the pressure to be on the mats. I’m on the mats since I’m 3 years old. For me, at 25, when I have the time to rest and everything, then the next time, it’s like man I want to train. I like to have that drive.”
Dern also revealed she is now splitting her training camp for UFC 224 between Checkmat for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Blackhouse for striking.