LAS VEGAS, Nevada — UFC Fight Night: Dern vs. Yan, which will be headlined by two of the premier strawweight fighters in the world, will also feature another highly-anticipated women's strawweight showdown when the promotion returns to the Fight Capital of the World on the first day of October.
UFC Fight Night: Dern vs. Yan takes place Saturday, October 1st at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. The main event will feature a women's strawweight showdown between #5 ranked Mackenzie Dern and #6 ranked Yan Xiaonan. The card will also feature the return of BJJ and Judo black belt Tabatha "Baby Shark" Ricci as she faces former UFC title challenger Jessica Penne. The card will be available worldwide on ESPN+ at 4 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. PT.
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Ricci (7-1) returns to the UFC Octagon to continue her unbeaten run as a strawweight and rapid ascent in the sport. "Baby Shark" is a native of Birigui, São Paulo, Brazil and holds the rank of black belt in Jiu-Jitsu and Judo. She was signed to the UFC after winning 3 fights in just 9 months for the LFA, which is the UFC's premier developmental organization. Those wins came against Kelsey Arnesen (Unanimous Decision), Vanessa Grimes (Submission), and Shawna Ormsby (TKO) in a variety of ways, which showcased her diverse skill set. The proud Biriguiense now looks to go 3-0 as a UFC strawweight and 7-0 overall in the division. Her previous two UFC wins were earned with dominant Unanimous Decision victories over fellow Brazilian prospects Maria Oliveira and Polyana Viana. She now hopes that a third win for the promotion, over a ranked opponent, is enough to get herself in the official UFC rankings.
Penne (14-6) is one of the founding members of the UFC strawweight division as she competed on the twentieth season of The Ultimate Fighter, which crowned the inaugural strawweight champion at the show's finale in 2014. After advancing to the semi-finals of the tournament, Penne won her UFC debut against Canadian standout Randa Markos. This win earned the southern Californian a shot at the UFC strawweight title against Joanna Jędrzejczyk in 2015. The Polish legend had defeated the inaugural champion Carla Esparza three months earlier and her fight with Penne marked her first title defense in her record-setting run of title defenses in the division. Penne enjoyed a return to form in 2021 by earning a pair of victories over former LFA champion Lupita Godinez and former UFC title challenger Karolina Kowalkiewicz. Those wins solidified her spot in the rankings where she is currently ranked #15.