Las Vegas – UFC® returns to UFC APEX with a critical strawweight contenders’ bout as No. 4 ranked Mackenzie Dern and No. 6 Marina Rodriguez face off with potential title implications on the line. In the co-main event, exciting welterweights Randy Brown and Jared Gooden lock horns.


UFC FIGHT NIGHT®: DERN vs RODRIGUEZ will take place Saturday, October 9 from UFC APEX in Las Vegas. All bouts will stream on ESPN+, with the prelims beginning at a special start time of 10 a.m. PT/ 1 p.m. ET and the main card at 1 p.m. PT/ 4 p.m. ET.

Submission specialist Dern (11-1, fighting out of Huntington Beach, Calif.) aims to show off her ever evolving skillset and deliver a statement-making performance to secure the first UFC title shot of her career. The owner of the most submissions in UFC strawweight history, Dern has impressed with finishes over Nina Nunes, Randa Markos and Hannah Cifers. She now intends to become the first person to stop Rodriguez and leave no doubt that she is ready for the top of the division.

Rodriguez (14-1-2, fighting out of Santa Catarina, Brazil) looks to add another big name to her resume and jump to the front of the line of contenders for the belt. A signee from Dana White’s Contender Series: Brazil¸ Rodriguez separated herself from the pack with marquee wins over Tecia Torres, Amanda Ribas and Michelle Waterson. She now seeks to keep her momentum going by finishing Dern and breaking into the top five.

Welterweight finisher Brown (13-4, fighting out of Queens, N.Y.) intends to make the most of his second co-main event spot by earning another signature finish. A well-rounded competitor with 11 of his 13 wins coming by stoppage, Brown has entertained fans with victories over Alex Oliveira, Warlley Alves and Bryan Barberena. He now hopes to notch his fourth win in his last five fights and make a case to break into the rankings.

Gooden (18-6, fighting out of Duluth, Ga.) plans to keep the momentum from his last win going by snagging the biggest victory of his MMA career. A powerful athlete with eight of his last nine wins coming by finish, Gooden made waves in July by landing a highlight reel KO on Niklas Stolze in just over one minute. He now aims to make it two in a row by defeating Brown.

Additional bouts on the card include:

  • Exciting flyweights No. 9 ranked Tim Elliott (18-11-1, fighting out of Lee’s Summit, Mo.) and No. 11 ranked Matheus Nicolau (14-3-1, fighting out of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) clash in a bout sure to deliver action
  • Top women’s flyweight prospects battle as Sabina Mazo (9-2, fighting out of Redondo Beach, Calif. by way of Medellin, Colombia) meets Mariya Agapova (9-2, fighting out of Pavlodar, Kazakhstan)
  • Phil Hawes (11-2, fighting out of Albuquerque, N.M.) looks to remain undefeated in 2021 when he takes on Deron Winn (7-2, fighting out of Gilroy, Calif.) at middleweight
  • Bantamweights Chris Gutierrez (16-3-2, fighting out of Littleton, Colo.) and Felipe Colares (10-2, fighting out of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) look to steal the show in the prelim feature bout
  • Jamie Pickett (11-6, fighting out of Wilmington, N.C.) aims to earn his first UFC win when he takes on Laureano Staropoli (9-4, fighting out of La Plata, Argentina) in a middleweight bout
  • Alexandr Romanov (14-0, fighting out of Gagauzia, Moldova) plans to land another signature submission against Jared Vanderaa (12-5, fighting out of Hemet, Calif.) at heavyweight
  • Featherweights Charles Rosa (14-5, fighting out of Coconut Creek, Fla.) and Damon Jackson (18-4-1, 1 NC, fighting out of Dallas, Texas) meet in a bout with post-fight bonus potential
  • Loopy Godinez (5-1, fighting out of Vancouver, B.C., Canada by way of Aguascalientes, Mexico) and Sam Hughes (5-3, fighting out of Everett, Wash.) both seek to secure their first UFC win at strawweight
  • Lightweights Steve Garcia (11-4, fighting out of Albuquerque, N.M.) and Charles Ontiveros (11-7, fighting out of Dayton, Texas) intend to kick off the show with a bang

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