Former Invicta FC strawweight champion Virna Jandiroba wants her own spot under the sun in one of the UFC’s most competitive female divisions. Paired up against Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace Mackenzie Dern for an intriguing grappling match at UFC 256, ‘Carcara’ is ready to show the world she is a threat to anyone in the division, no matter their background.
In an interview with Combate, Jandiroba explained that the opportunity to fight Mackenzie is not just good for extending her win streak, but also for making herself more notorious to casual fans. The way Jandiroba sees it, Dern is already a star, so beating her could make more pundits aware of her own skills.
“This fight, it’ll bring me visibility, no doubt. It’s a game changer. Every fight matters, my last one was against Felice (Herrig), and it brought me some pretty good attention, Now, against Mackenzie, who comes from jiu-jitsu, I think it’ll be a pretty good fight for me to showcase my jiu-jitsu. Mackenzie is famous, so that’s the way for me to make myself known. Little by little.”
Despite being essentially a grappler herself, much like Dern, Jandiroba promises a few surprises on Saturday. Although she did not want to spoil any of them, Jandiroba emphasized how they might not all be grappling-related. However, should the fight still play out on the mat, Carcara claims to be excited to put her skills to the test against Dern’s style.
“I have some new things to show. I just can’t say what they are so that it doesn’t turn against me. It (the fight) might end in a surprising way. I don’t know if it’s going to be on the ground, but I have some things I’ve never done before in a fight. I’m betting heavily on that. I know what her strong suits are, and mine too. I’m sure it’s going to be a pretty cool fight to watch. My style is more traditional, old school. Hers is looser, she scrambles well. I prefer the more conservative style.”
Currently on a two-fight winning streak, Jandiroba (16-1) tapped out both Mallory Martin and Felice Herrig in her last couple of outings. Before that, the 32-year-old suffered her sole professional loss, when she dropped a unanimous decision to Carla Esparza in her Octagon debut.
Now, Jandiroba is expected to take on Mackenzie Dern at UFC 256, on December 12, at the UFC Apex, in Las Vegas. The card is scheduled to be headlined by a flyweight title fight between champion Deiveson Figueiredo and challenger Brandon Moreno.