Virna Jandiroba: Jiu Jitsu at the APEX

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I spoke with Virna Jandiroba ahead of her UFC debut in 2019 for Cageside Press. In that article, we learned about Jandiroba and where she started her passion for martial arts. I had the pleasure of catching back up with Jandiroba ahead of her fight with Mackenzie Dern at UFC 256.

I had my first contact with the fight game as a child in Kung Fu, I thought it was beautiful and I was fascinated by something mysterious that I noticed in the martial arts!

Virna Jandiroba to Blaine Henry on

The fight with Esparza did not to her way. Jandiroba is quick to acknowledge that loss but she believes fighting a former champion like she did helped make her better and that is the product that we see in Virna Jandiroba today.

“Yes, I believe it would be [a better fight]. Carla is an excellent fighter and had the merit of winning the fight, but for sure today I am more mature thanks to that fight!”

Virna Jandiroba vs. Mackenzie Dern | UFC 256

The struggle with COVID-19 and training camps is becoming less and less. We’ve spoken with fighters who had to do their training in the streets at the beginning of the pandemic. But as we’re figuring out how to operate under a temporary new way of life, it’s becoming easier for fighters to get a quality camp in.

“We had to adapt to the pandemic and despite it, I managed to make a good camp. I had more people in my camp, I was very well accompanied.”

Coming into UFC 256, which is headlined by Deiveson Figueiredo, Virna Jandiroba is an underdog against Mackenzie Dern. However, Jandiroba says people will be surprised of her in the upcoming matchup. She feels as if she’s grown since the Esparza fight and it will show on Saturday. “I am always trying to improve and mature within the fight, besides that I am adapted to the UFC now, so I believe I have a lot to show in the fight with Mackenzie.”

Grappling will be what a lot of fans look forward to when Virna Jandiroba and Mackenzie Dern step into the octagon. But Jandiroba says dot be surprised when you see other things in the cage. After all, it’s mixed martial arts.

“I think it’s possible, since grappling for both of us is a kind of second nature. But I don’t rule out the possibility of showing other things besides Jiu Jitsu.”

Virna Jandiroba knows the level of grappling coming into the two strawweight contender’s fight. With a win over a name like Mackenzie Dern, Jandiroba believes it’s her statement to the division to not sleep on her.

“I believe that my Jiu Jitsu and Mackenzie’s are one of the best in the category. I think that a victory over her, a girl who has a lot of expression within Jiu Jitsu, would be a kind of solidifying my name in the category.”

When asked about whose Jiu Jitsu translates better to MMA, Vandiroba says there is only one way to find out: wait and see.

“I think we have different styles, I think my game is very suitable for MMA, but we will have this answer on the 12th,” Virna said with a laugh.

Win or lose, Jandiroba is getting well deserved attention at UFC 256. Being a former Invicta champion, she has the experience to make the fight with Mackenzie Dern one to look out for at UFC 256.

Follow Virna Jandiroba on Instagram and Twitter to follow her throughout fight week.

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Blaine Henry

Just your friendly neighborhood fight fan!

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