Mackenzie Dern entered the UFC Vegas 61 main event against Yan Xiaonan at the UFC Apex on Saturday ranked No. 5 in the women’s strawweight division. She likely will not drop far in the rankings after losing to No. 6-ranked Xiaonan in a competitive match.
The 29-year old submission expert had difficulty taking Xiaonan to the ground throughout the fight. When the fight did hit the canvas, Dern dominated position but couldn’t secure a submission finish. The bout went the distance and Xiaonan was declared the win by majority decision.
After the loss, Dern released a video statement to her Instagram account thanking her fans, apologizing to those she may have let down, and vowing to come back stronger.
“Thank you so much to the fans, so sorry if I disappointed anyone! It is what it is, just get better the goal is the same! Champ one day! Congrats to @xiaonan_yan,” she wrote.
“Hey guys,” she said in the video in both English and Portuguese. “I just want to say thank you. Thank you to everyone who cheer for me. I messed up, and Yan did so good. She’s tough. She’s really tough.
“I’m learning, you know. I’m learning on the spot, and I’m going to be a champion,” said an emotional Dern. “I’m going to be a champion one day. I’ve just got to learn. I tried my best. I really tired. I just need to get better… I’ll be back. I’ll be back stronger.”