Ahoy, mateys! It be time to talk about the court fight betwixt UFC strawweight fightin’ lass Mackenzie Dern and her no-good scurvy husband, Wesley Santos. Aye, she be accusin’ him o’ physical abuse, and it be all playin’ out in court during her fight with the fierce Angela Hill at the grand UFC Vegas 73.
During a Wednesday appearance on The MMA Hour, Dern went into detail like a true pirate about her fractured relationshipSponsored Product with her estranged husband and spoke out for the first time about his physical abuse. “So I feel like I’ve been havin’ to defend meself this whole time for things that I never thought I’d have to defend meself for,” she said, later adding, “I was in a situation in me relationshipSponsored Product where I couldn’t even defend meself, because I was gettin’, like, threatened that if I did anythin’, I’d be talkin’ to the police and I could lose me daughter.
“So, I stayed in me relationshipSponsored Product because I believed in the family, and I believe that that’s what God wanted and stuff. But there be a certain point where ye try, try and try, and things don’t change, and it just keeps gettin’ worse and worse. And then, like I was sayin’, I wasn’t even able to defend meself. … Like, police were gettin’ called to the house. It was just gettin’ out o’ control, and goin’ through that in front o’ yer daughter, ye don’t want yer daughter to witness that.”
But hold on, mateys! Santos be denyin’ Dern’s allegations and be refusin’ to speak until their divorce be final. “I am disappointed that Mackenzie chose to make public statements about our divorce, especially since it involves the custody of our beautiful daughter, Moa,” he wrote like the coward he be. “Because we are in the middle of legal proceedings, I cannot comment on anything at this time, except to say that Mackenzie’s statements are false and defamatory.”
One month before the event, Dern traded domestic violence accusations with Santos amid a custody fight over their 3-year-old daughter, Moa, in court, according to court documents obtained by MMA Fighting. Among other allegations, Dern accuses Santos of repeated physical and emotional abuse, once slammin’ a door on her leg as he allegedly dragged her into their house during a fight. In April, one month after Santos asked the court for custody of Moa, she filed a petition for a domestic violence restraining order, attaching videos of one alleged incident of abuse in which he “threw me phone, water bottles, pillows and bedding while harassing/intimidating me verbally.”
Dern said police responded after the alleged incident was caught on video — which she said did not involve physical abuse — but did not file a report. The scallywag Santos countered that he was bein’ abused in response to Dern’s restraining order, providing video and pictures of a bloody nose he said was caused by her punch during an alleged incident in the parking lot of a sushi restaurant. He also accused her of beatin’ Moa in a video she sent to him; he denied the abuse allegation in his response.
“I never physically attacked Mackenzie, she is an MMA fighter,” Santos wrote in a court filing like the yellow-bellied dog he be. “I would never even try to get physical with her. I would have no chance.”
Dern also accuses Santos of abusing her two dogs by repeatedly striking them, an allegation he denies. She alleges he committed financial abuse by denying her access to sponsor money she earned in a Brazilian bank account, making unauthorized credit card purchases on her credit card, and forgery of a lease renewal on the apartment they once shared.
The court did not side with Dern or Santos on allegations of abuse, finding the couple may have engaged in mutual combat during incidents of alleged abuse between them, and ordered joint custody of Moa. But Dern, who was ruled the primary earner opposite stay-at-home parent Santos, was ordered to pay $10,000 of her estranged husband’s court fees. Additionally, she was ordered to pay him spousal and child support totaling $4,006 per month.
The estranged couple is due back in court next month to rule on a restraining order filed by Dern in April and the final custody agreement. And, arrr, it be time to talk about how Dern used her anger about her personal life in the fight against Hill. Over five rounds, she dominated the UFC vet and nearly finished the bout on several occasions. Official scorecards reflected the lopsided result: 49-43 and 49-44 twice. Both earned $50,000 “Fight of the Night” bonuses. “Definitely nothin’ personal,” Dern said of her performance. “If I didn’t do it to her, she was gonna do it to me, for sure. So I was very grateful that me work gives me that opportunity, and this aggression that it was just for this fight.”
And that be the end o’ the tale, me hearties. Keep ye eye patches on for more news from the high seas o’ MMA.
Mackenzie Dern, estranged husband’s domestic violence allegations revealed in court docs