Saturday night at the TD Place arena in Ottawa, on the early prelims of UFC Fight Night 89, Iraqi Canadian strawweight and TUF alum Randa Markos put herself back on the divisional map with a solid decision win over opponent Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger. This, despite missing weight and forfeiting 20% of her purse. It was a compelling fight in a night that seemed to be all over the map in terms of action.

In a tumultuous strawweight division where just a handful of wins put you in line for a title shot, this strong outing by Markos might just be the turnaround moment she’s looking for. Just 2-2 in the UFC, it was her best showing to date. Markos was able to press forward, had greater power, and even got creative, throwing numerous spinning back fists before finally connecting with one that clearly rocked her foe. Despite Markos’ strong wrestling background, she refused to shy away from the striking game, and by the end of the contest, it was clear (much to an impressively strong early crowd’s delight) that she was now a much more rounded fighter than ever before. She won the majority of the exchanges, and was the fresher fighter by the end even in taking a fair amount of damage of her own.

While the win isn’t putting her directly in title contention, it should put her in line for a higher ranked opponent moving forward, and following the bout, Markos asked to be added to the recently announced Vancouver card in August — showing she’s willing and able to fight with a quick turnaround. It also might just mean that Markos herself feels the momentum building.

Lets hope so. From the moment she made her way to the octagon, freshly dyed red hair standing out strongly from the crowd, it was clear that Randa Markos has the potential to be a star in the division, if she can just put some wins together in the cage. Strawweight being much like the wild west at the moment, it’s anyone’s game outside of (arguably) Joanna Champion and Claudia Gadelha. Thus now is the time for fighters to make their mark. Randa started making hers Saturday night, and hopefully she can continue that in just a few month’s time.

About The Author

Senior Staff Writer

Covering the sport of MMA from Ontario, Canada, Jay Anderson has been writing for various publications covering sports, technology, and pop culture since 2001. Jay holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Guelph, and a Certificate in Leadership Skills from Humber College under the Ontario Management Development Program. When not slaving at the keyboard, he can be found in the company of his dog, a good book, or getting lost in the woods.