In the aftermath of her dominant victory over Angela Hill at UFC Vegas 73, UFC strawweight star and jiu-jitsu ace Mackenzie Dern made an appearance on The MMA Hour, where she opened up on the abuse she allegedly suffered at the hands of estranged husband Wesley Santos.
“I stayed in my relationship because I believed in the family, and I believe that that’s what God wanted and stuff,” Dern told The MMA Hour. “But there’s a certain point where you try, try and try, and things don’t change, and it just keeps getting worse and worse. […] I wasn’t even able to defend myself. Like, police were getting called to the house. It was just getting out of control, and going through that in front of your daughter, you don’t want your daughter to witness that.”
According to court documents reportedly obtained by The MMA Hour, Dern and Santos had been engaged in a custody battle over their three-year-old daughter Moa as recently as a month before UFC Vegas 73. Dern accused Santos of emotional and physical abuse, and filed a petition for a domestic violence restraining order.
In the court documents reviewed by The MMA Hour, Santos retorted that he was the one being abused, writing, “I never physically attacked Mackenzie, she is an MMA fighter. I would never even try to get physical with her. I would have no chance.”
The court did not side with either Dern or Santos, instead ordering a joint custody arrangement for their daughter. The couple will reportedly return to court next month for a final custody agreement, as well as a ruling on Dern’s original restraining order against Santos.