You don’t have to give birth to be a champion mom

UFC women’s strawweight contender Mackenzie Dern has spoken about bantamweight champion Julianna Peña’s past comments about motherhood.

At UFC 269, Amanda Nunes put her 135-pound gold on the line against “The Venezuelan Vixen”. During and around fight week, there was the presence of two cubs. While the Brazilian became a mom after wife Nina Nunes gave birth to daughter Raegan in 2020, Peña gave birth to her daughter two years prior in 2018.

After shocking the world with her performance at the final pay-per-view of 2021, the newly crowned bantamweight queen shocked a few others with some of her post-fight remarks. She claimed that because she gave birth to her child, she deserved the title of “First Mom’s Champion”, rather than the defeated Nunes.

In a recent exclusive interview with MMA News, Dern, who herself became a mother in 2019, shared her thoughts on controversial comments from her UFC counterpart.

Dern: I disagree with Peña, but I understand his point of view

After making the statement, Peña drew a lot of criticism, with Nunes even suggesting that her rival needs to be more aware when discussing the sensitive topic of motherhood and alternative methods of pregnancy.

Like many, Dern, the current No. 5-ranked 115-pound contender, disagrees with the idea that a fighter can only become a “mom champion” if she has given birth.

Nonetheless, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist told MMA News that she understands where Peña is coming from and identified some of the benefits that could come for those who have not experienced pregnancy or childbirth.

“I think every family is different,” Dern said. “I don’t think giving birth is what makes mommy champion, you know what I mean? Because, I mean, guys, they have tons of guys, men, who spend a lot of time with their kids and all that kind of stuff. But also, also, they have the guys who have the mothers, the wives, who helped them a bit with their careers, their training, and the guys can just focus on training, and they have the wife who helps them and can just take care of the kids for them and be that support team for them.

“I don’t know. I don’t really agree with the whole, ‘Oh, cause they’re giving birth, they’re the champion moms.’ But, I mean, I get what she’s trying to say,” Dern concluded.

It should be noted that Peña later clarified her comments and has since stated that Amanda Nunes is indeed a true champion mom.

Along with discussing Peña’s motherhood comments, Dern also touched on topics including her recent knee injury, her upcoming return to action at UFC 273 against Tecia Torres and the former champion’s impending return. Joanna Jędrzejczyk during her interview with MMA News.

Since returning from her maternity hiatus, Dern has returned to contention. After suffering her first setback in professional MMA at the hands of Amanda Ribas, the 28-year-old has won four straight fights, three of which ended in a first-round submission.

After dropping her last contest to Marina Rodriguez, Dern hopes to get back into the win column and the title conversation when she steps into the Octagon for the first time in 2022. In her own way, Tecia Torres, who had a impressive resurgence in recent times.

Given that she’s on the right side of 30, Dern hopes to join the club of champion moms in the coming years, a pursuit that will first have to go through a certain “Tiny Tornado.”

Do you agree with Mackenzie Dern?

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