“As of right now I feel better than before because I was missing being there [fighting for the UFC],” Dern said. “This ten months off, everything kind of started off new because I was like, ‘Man, I need to be in there now.’ So, I feel like I have more drive to be in there.”
That drive hasn’t always been there, as some of the pressure on Dern took away from her passion to fight. After missing weight in her last bout against Amanda Cooper, she felt she was overly focused on the scale and wasn’t able to enjoy the process that fight week and the fight itself offers.
“I was kind of fighting a little bit unmotivated,” she said. “The fans were very critical because of my last missed weight and it gets depressing a little bit. You love to fight but you want to like to be there.”
Now that she’s refreshed and had some time off, Dern’s motivation to fight is partly fueled by silencing the narrative of her previous battles with the scale. She wants to prove to people that she’s focused and a true professional.