Around Father’s Day, many people will tell you how their fathers have played largely inspirational roles in their lives. What most people can’t tell you is how their father has won multiple Pan-American Jiu Jitsu Championships (among many other medals and accomplishments). That ability is unique to Mackenzie Dern, the number one ranked female black belt in brazilian jiu-jitsu and the daughter of Wellington Leal “Megaton” Dias, a jiu jitsu legend.
We recently spoke with Mackenzie about how she feels about having her father as her coach as well as her biggest inspiration.
Mackenzie Dern on the Influence Her Father Has on Her Life and Career
My father has been a huge influence on my life, both on and off the mats. Not only did he inspire me to live the life of an MMA athlete, he has also provided me with the qualities and tools I need to succeed in my career.
My father has been heavily involved in my jiu-jitsu career since I began my training at the age of three. He has taught me almost everything I need to know about how to train and live like an athlete. Once I turned 13 years old, he took me to do everything with him. We would wake up early to workout and hit the mats. He would also take me to seminars and training classes to help diversify my skillset and put me up against fighters who could push me beyond my limit.
When I was ready for competitions, he would take me all over to find the best opportunities and fighters to test my skills. He was there to coach and support me every step of the way. From proper diet to technique, he has taught it all to me.
I am so lucky to have my dad take me under his wing and invest so much into my future. He has influenced me to work hard, have fun and most importantly, live the life I want to live.
He is a great athlete, one of my best friends and the person that I look up to the most. I love that I get to share the mats with him every day!
Hear More From Mackenzie
Mackenzie has recently partnered with Zebra Athletics to help us promote our industry-leading MMA products (including our MMA cage, wall mats, floor mats, and so much more). As we continue our explore our partnership, we will have many more stories about Mackenzie and will even be hosting some meet and greets at events across the country.
Read more about Mackenzie Dern and Zebra Athletics on our blog and check back for more updates on where to find us next.
Happy Father’s Day from the Zebra Team!