Markos says the battle is typically against herself rather than her opponent
Coming in off of two losses in a row for the first time in her MMA career, Canadian Randa Markos returns to the Octagon on Saturday to face Kanako Murata at UFC Fight Night: Felder vs. dos Anjos.
The 35-year-old accepted the bout against the former Invicta strawweight champion a week ago, returning on short notice after her submission loss to Mackenzie Dern in September.
Markos says she never stopped working following her last defeat and feels prepared for any challenge.
"After the last fight, I got back to the gym and started working really hard on just getting better everywhere. Getting better at my striking, getting better at my Jiu-Jitsu, just sharpening everything,” Markos told TSN. “So when I got the call, I just continued to do that. The biggest thing for me is realizing that I’ve been here for a long time, I’ve fought all the toughest chicks that we have in our division and there is nothing new that can be thrown at me.”
The 27-year-old Murata will be making her UFC debut on Saturday against Markos and the Windsor, Ont., resident is excited to test the newcomer’s skills, which she sees as a perfect fit for the way she likes to fight.
"She’s a world class wrestler, I’m really excited to go in there with a wrestler,” said Markos of the Japanese fighter. “I used to wrestle back in the day, that’s how I got into MMA and it’s cool to face a really good wrestler. I’m expecting her to take the fight to the ground where she wants it and try to keep it there.”
"This time I can use my Jiu-Jitsu and I can use my striking and if she does take it to the ground I know how to react, so we’ll see how it goes and we’ll see if I’m ready for it. I’m really excited to be fighting a wrestler and I’m really excited to see what she has to bring.”
Prior to her setback against Dern, Markos lost a unanimous decision to Amanda Ribas in Brazil to set her career high two-fight losing streak. Heading into this short notice bout, Markos is not worrying about the losses and is instead concentrating on continuing to improve.
"If I don’t do well, I don’t deserve to be here, to be honest,” said Markos. “I’m doing everything I can, girls are getting better, there’s lots of new girls coming into the division and I just need to give it everything and believe in myself when I get in there and whatever happens, happens.”
Since making her UFC debut, Markos has never backed down from the toughest fighters in the UFC’s strawweight division. Her resume is full of bouts against former champions and title challengers; however, the Canadian believes the toughest fighter she faces in the Octagon is herself.
"I know what my issue is and I’m really trying to overcome my issue, it’s in my head,” said Markos. “I put too much pressure on myself, I overthink everything and with this fight, I just want to be free and go out and hurt somebody. My main goal is just to go out there and hurt somebody and let it all go and stop putting so much pressure on myself.”
"For me it’s a big challenge, me against myself most of the time. Most of the time it’s telling myself to shut up and just do it. It has been a battle.”