Mackenzie Dern


Mackenzie Dern, 20 years-old, from Glendale, AZ, is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner, from Team Gracie Humaita. She has won 12 World titles, from 2007 through 2012 – 7 medals at the Worlds with Gi and 5 medals at the Worlds No Gi, all before reaching black belt level. In 2012, the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation opened the female brown belt category and Mackenzie became the first female Brown Belt Absolute Champion. She is one of the most decorated female competitors in Jiu-Jitsu with Pan American, European, National and International titles.

An only child, Mackenzie grew up traveling back and forth between Arizona and Brazil, the home country of her father, Wellington “Megaton” Dias, a renowned black belt in Judo and Jiu-Jitsu and owner of Megaton Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy and affiliate of Team Gracie Humaita.

When her parents separated in 1996, Mackenzie maintained an even life between her mother and father. Mackenzie now has 2 half siblings, Merrick (born 2002) and Korah (born 2005).

Mackenzie began learning Jiu-Jitsu when she was 3 years old. Megaton would take her to his Jiu-Jitsu academy while he taught classes and Mackenzie’s first competition was in 1999, where she lost by just 2 points. After her loss, she continued competing and winning multiple competitions as a child, while also going up in the ranks for kids. By age 14, she competed in her first World Championship in the blue belt Juvenile division, taking the gold and at 16 she began competing in the adult division where she also received gold.

As Mackenzie started competing at the professional level, she followed her father and became a part of Team Gracie Humaita, where she helps represent one of the most recognized female teams.

Being in the Jiu-Jitsu industry her whole life, Mackenzie grew up watching her father compete, attending many competitions, where she started concentrating on her future jiujitsu career and her goal to be become a black belt world champion. Throughout her four years at Ironwood High School, teachers and faculty supported Mackenzie during her training and competition. At 14 years old, she was already traveling extensively outside the U.S. for competition. Megaton, Mackenzie’s father and coach, began investing in the talent he saw in his daughter and started a full time training routine. By 2009, Mackenzie was a four- time World Champion.

In 2009, Mackenzie made her debut at the European Championships in Lisbon, Portugal as a blue belt. Unfortunately, a week before the tournament, she injured her collar bone during training and was not able to compete. One year later, she competed at the Europeans and took the gold in her division. She kept the winning streak going through 2011, where she fought as a purple belt and 2012 where she fought as a brown belt and won in both her weight division and the absolute divisions.

Although Mackenzie began winning her main titles very quickly, she wasn’t able to medal at the Pan American Championships two years in a row. In 2011 however, Mackenzie won a medal and took first place at the Pan Americans. She also won a gold in 2012, with a bronze medal in the absolute division.

December 2011, Mackenzie was invited to take part in a Television show in Tokyo, Japan that pits female athletes against Japanese male Comedians. The program was shown in January and was a success with Mackenzie winning her fight.

Mackenzie Dern was promoted to Black Belt December 1st, 2012, one of the youngest Black Belt competitors. Since receiving her black belt, Mackenzie has won the Copa Podio, the first ever couples match, where she fought together with her boyfriend, black belt Augusto Tanquinho, against another Jiu-Jitsu black belt couple, with Mackenzie and Tanquinho taking first place. She then competed at the European Championships in Lisbon, Portugal and won first place. In 2013, Mackenzie has already qualified for the World Pro Championships in Abu Dhabi, this April, her third year competing in Abu Dhabi.

Now, the 19-year-old black belt, Mackenzie, is undefeated in World Championships in Long Beach, California with 6 gold medals and 1 absolute gold medal. She is also undefeated in the World No Gi Championships where she has competed four times and also holds an absolute title for 2011. Aside from all the medals Dern has achieved, she holds the female record of the most consecutive wins at the World Championships.

Mackenzie Dern – country of origin: United States, weight: 129lbs, age: 19, height: 5’4“, fighting style: Jiu-Jitsu