Since 2014, Randa Markos has been one of the mainstays in the UFC’s strawweight division. And while she’s seen plenty of ups and downs in her 12 UFC fights, she believes she still hasn’t scratched the surface of where she can go.
Especially if she starts letting her hands go.
“I have what it takes to beat anyone in this division,” Markos said. “I just have to be willing to go out there and let my hands go and do what I need to do.”
Markos was willing to take those risks and execute her game plan in her submission win over Angela Hill earlier this year. Hill is known for her striking and Markos stood tall, brought her standup game and used it to set up her first career UFC finish.
That finish was a product of Markos just being herself as a fighter, something that she is still discovering.
“Being around for so long has been a learning process for me,” Markos said. “It’s been back and forth because when I have a higher-ranked opponent or somebody people don’t expect me to beat I’m harder on myself. I’ll train harder, I’ll mentally be harder on myself. So I just realized that I’m at my best when I’m relaxed.”
On Saturday, Markos will take on Ashley Yoder, who has won back-to-back fights over Amanda Cooper and Syuri Kondo.
Markos is excited for the matchup with Yoder for various reasons. But the main one is simple: she wants to show the world how her relaxed mentality will translate to the Octagon.
“I’m focused on myself and not on my opponent,” Markos said. “I just want to be a devastating fighter. I want to hurt somebody this fight.”
This fight will be her thirteenth walk to the Octagon and she’s confident that it could be her best one yet. It could be the fight that propels her into the most successful part of her career.
And she’s not about to let Yoder take this moment away from her.
“I feel that I’m better than her with hands and I feel like I’m a better wrestler,” Markos said. “I’m also a better grappler, so I think I’m the better fighter here. I’m just excited to go in there have fun and get this win.”
With that being said, Markos understands the challenges that Yoder presents and she isn’t underestimating her.
“We’re not overlooking this girl; she’s a tough fighter,” Markos said. “She has a lot to bring to the table and so do I. We are both talented fighters and we are both very competitive. She’s earned the chance to be here, but it won’t be enough for her to take me out.”
Make sure you tune into UFC Singapore this Saturday to see if Markos can get back to her winning ways and put an end to Yoder’s winning streak. The fights start at 5am/2am ETPT on ESPN+.