An incident took place between Dern’s husband and Dern's former coach Juan Gomez, which escalated to a fight between the two men.
“My ex-coach Juan Gomez, I don’t know what happened that he called us to go to the academy to talk,” Dern said on What the Heck (via Alexander K. Lee of MMA Fighting). “I think he was unhappy with a bonus, like money-wise for my last fight. Basically, I always ask my coaches, ‘Hey, during camp, if you have anything, just talk to my husband.’ Obviously, at home me and him talk about everything, so we’re the same person, but when I’m in camp I don’t want to have to think about it. I don’t want to think about money or coaches or anything like that, let’s just talk about training. So my husband talked to him. My husband’s like this surfer guy, you know, totally good vibes, afro, definitely not the fighter style. He went to go talk to him and [Gomez] was just like, ‘No, if you want to come to the academy, come to the academy and we’ll talk,’ and hung up. We went to the academy and he just swept dirt onto my husband, pushed him, and my husband pushed him back and they just went into a fistfight. It wasn’t like a brawl, a crazy brawl, it was like a street fight or technical fistfight. Back and forth, my husband’s doing feints, and I’m like, ‘Where’s he learning all this?’ It was so crazy.”
Wesley Santos, Dern’s husband, is a professional surfer with no known mixed martial arts experience. Dern’s father also got involved in the fight, coaching Santos against Gomez, offering the pro-surfer advice throughout the battle.
“I think they both kind of thought that they were going to separate this fight and everyone’s just kind of like, ‘Hey, one-on-one,’” Dern said. “My dad’s there trying to coach his son-in-law, ‘Okay, turn to your right, you’re doing good.’ And they’re fully fighting and my husband did so good. As soon as I saw that my coach attacked my husband, that just finished it for us. I love Black House and everything they’ve done for me, but that coach, I can’t work with that. No matter how much, I don’t know, if you’re mad about it because your bonus wasn’t high enough, you just can’t attack someone. Especially when my husband is so humble with water and he’s like, ‘Can we have that talk that you asked me to do?’ I don’t know what happened. To this day we still don’t know exactly what pushed it to that level.”
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