UFC 256 Results: Mackenzie Dern Wins Unexpected Slugfest Against Virna Jandiroba

UFC 256 Mackenzie Dern Virna Jandiroba
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 12: (L-R) Mackenzie Dern punches Virna Jandiroba of Brazil in their women's strawweight bout during the UFC 256 event at UFC APEX on December 12, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Mackenzie Dern showed a different facet of her game at UFC 256, throwing down with Virna Jandiroba for 15 minutes.

A battle of grapplers took place at UFC 256 as Mackenzie Dern faced Virna Jandiroba. Dern is a world champion jiu-jitsu practitioner who has made the transition to MMA. A 5-0 start to her MMA career earned her a UFC contract, where she’s gone 4-1 with three submissions. Dern had a two-fight submission streak going into the event.

Jandiroba, a jiu-jitsu black belt, won the first 14 fights of her MMA career. The streak culminated with a strawweight title victory and a defense. She fell in her UFC debut on short notice against former champion Carla Esparza and has since submitted two opponents.

Dern came out throwing hands surprisingly, landing a barrage of lefts and rights. Jandiroba fired back with a strong one-two. Dern caught Jandiroba with a straight right and the fighters reset. Both landed right hands and another exchange took place along the fence with Dern throwing more. Dern threw another combination that pushed Jandiroba against the cage and began working for a single-leg takedown. Several knees to the body forced Dern away from the cage. A big body kick landed for Jandiroba and Dern initiated a clinch that did not last long. By the end of the first round, Dern had done more damage, but Jandiroba was the fresher fighter, hitting a clean one-two near the bell.

Dern bullrushed out of the gate and Jandiroba weathered the storm to land a right straight of her own. A stiff jab caught Dern then Jandiroba tripped her off a kick. The fight stayed on the feet though, then Jandiroba initiated a clinch and landed a few slick shots including a knee. An eye poke from Dern halted the fight after a few punch-for-punch exchanges. When action resumed, Dern began firing away and briefly landed a takedown, but Jandiroba popped up and it was revealed that Jandiroba landed a big knee that broke the nose of Dern before the takedown attempt. Dern pulled guard and rode out the round from her back.

Dern came out fast again and landed a stiff jab into a takedown attempt, but Jandiroba stayed on her feet. Jandiroba nailed Dern with a head kick and jabs were exchanged. Dern landed several jabs while Jandiroba was attempting to counter with a right straight. A strong right hand rocked Jandiroba, but Dern didn’t take advantage, trying to go for a takedown and ending up on her back. Dern forced Jandiroba off of her and stood up, then the strawweights swung for the finish. Several jabs found a home for Dern while Jandiroba was firing back with counters at every oppportunity. Dern initiated a clinch and Jandiroba pulled guard for a submission attempt at the end, allowing Dern to end the fight on top.

Mackenzie Dern def. Virna Jandiroba by Unanimous Decision (29-28 x3)