After an impressive submission win over Felice Herrig last August, former Invicta champion Virna Jandiroba is back in Octagon for her fourth promotional appearance on Saturday at UFC 256 against Mackenzie Dern.
With 13 submission triumphs among her 16 professional victories, Jandiroba promises that she will not be afraid to go to the ground against the multiple-time world jiu-itsu champion.
“It’s an MMA fight, not a gi jiu-jitsu match. I´m prepared for all areas,” Jandiroba said. “If the fight goes to the ground, it will be pretty entertaining for the fans. Mackenzie´s game is pretty [unorthodox], [while] my jiu-jitsu is more like a classical old school style. But I'm bringing some surprises for that fight too.”
Jandiroba trained extensively with Nova Uniao black belt Michele Oliveira to help prepare her for the showdown with Dern.
“She has a pretty similar game to Mackenzie and spent almost two month here with me in Bahia, which was really important in my preparation,” Jandiroba said.
Jandiroba gained a measure of recognition from her first-round tapout of Herrig at UFC 252, and she expects that her popularity could grow even more with a victory over Dern.
“I´m sure this fight is a turning point in my career, and I trained a lot in all areas to have another great performance and to take another step forward in the strawweight rankings,” she said.
Despite being confident in her ability to earn victory, Jandiroba isn’t looking ahead to future opponents at 115 pounds beyond Dern.
“Saturday I have a hell of a challenge,” she said. “My main focus now is my fight with Mackenzie.”