Dern is excitedly targeting the ninth victory of her established career when she faces former Provincial Fighting Championship title holder Randa Markos.
The 27-year-old became the first woman in UFC history to win by leglock submission when she beat Hannah Cifers in the second round of their bout at the Apex facility two months ago, earning her third win with the promotion.
She gave birth to a chid, Moa, just four months before the first defeat of her career against Amanda Ribas last October, and her preparations for Markos have allowed her to relax with her daughter, who has joined her by the pool and even in the gym as she works out and trains.
“We are always in the water,” explained Dern, the first mother to win a title. “Either the beach or pool on our free time.”
Her husband, Brazilian professional surfer Wesley Santos, has seen all of his events canceled for the rest of the year, giving the family unexpected time together.
“He’s at home helping me with Moa,” she said.
“Usually he’s the competitor so I’m doing everything [around] him, traveling with him – it’s hard for me to stay in my routine at home.
“I can stay with my daughter and train hard…get the win streak going.”
Iraqi-born Canadian Markos also lost to Ribas in her most recent fight in March, continuing a 16-fight run in which she has never had a successive win or loss.
Dern wants to catch the eye again at a venue that is yet to be confirmed in just over a month’s time, writing “show me the money” while admitting she was “focused on another 50k bonus.”
She will be familiar with the territory should the fight take place on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi, as her self-portrait days after signing the contract for her fight with Markos demonstrated.
Recalling her participation in the World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championships in the state in 2015, Dern pictured herself sitting on a beach at sunset in a bikini, adding: “Abu Dhabi sunsets are amazing.
“Abu Dhabi does a great job for fighters and presentation. Great place for UFC Fight Island.”