The two were scheduled to meet in a strawweight bout on the main card of UFC 224 on Saturday at the Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, but Dern came in heavy at Friday’s weigh-ins, hitting the scale at seven pounds over the 115-pound limit (plus a one-pound allowance).
It was ruled that Dern would be fined 30 percent of her show money (10 percent by CABMMA, the Brazilian athletic commission, and 20 percent by the UFC), which will go to Cooper, who agreed to proceed with what will now be a catchweight affair.
Shortly after, Cooper took to Twitter to express her feelings about the situation, calling Dern “a disgrace to all professionals”:
Not shocked @MackenzieDern missed weight but 7.4lbs over is a disgrace to all professionals. She’s not getting out of this fight that easy. Fight is still on. ABCNation get ready. #ufc224 strawweight vs flyweight tomorrow night in Brazil— Amanda Bobby Cooper (@ABCnation115) May 11, 2018
Cooper, a finalist on season 23 of The Ultimate Fighter, also added that their UFC 224 encounter will essentially be a strawweight facing a flyweight.
This is the third time in Dern’s young career that she has had issues making 115 pounds.
UPDATE: Cooper spoke to MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani and she made clear that she never considered bowing out of the fight after Dern missed weight.
“Of course it’s frustrating, but I knew it was going to happen,” said Cooper. “I came mentally and physically prepared to fight so that’s what’s going to happen. I can beat this girl. I’ve trained too hard and too much for it not to happen. I am always going to make the weight and fight, I am a professional.
“I never thought about saying ‘no’ to the fight. I told my coaches days ago that if she didn’t make weight I wanted the fight. I just got back in the tub and knew I had to make weight for the fight to stay on.”