UFC Vegas 14 Results: Kanako Murata Victorious in Octagon Debut

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Kanako Murata and Randa Markos, UFC Vegas 14
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - NOVEMBER 14: (L-R) Kanako Murata of Japan attempts to secure a choke submission against Randa Markos of Iraq in a strawweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on November 14, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Invicta FC champ and RIZIN Fighting Federation standout Kanako Murata finally arrived in the UFC Saturday. The Japanese fighter’s debut had been highly anticipated ever since word of her signing with the promotion broke earlier this year. At UFC Vegas 14, the wait was over, as Murata was paired up with longtime UFC strawweight Randa Markos.

While Markos looked to use her reach advantage to keep Murata on the outside early, it wasn’t long before the Japanese fighter, with a deep background in Judo, took the fight to the ground. That gave her plenty of time — well over three minutes — to work from the top. Murata quickly passed to side control, but Markos was able to get an underhook, allowing her a chance to post up. Back on the feet, in a clinch, Markos would land several knees, but she was forced to fight off another Murata takedown. Eventually, Murata would take the fight to the ground, and ended the round dropping elbows, at least until a late heel hook attempt by Markos.

A successful round for Kanako Murata led to a more aggressive start in round two for the Japanese fighter, as she got her hands going, keeping Markos guessing. This time around, the pair would stay on the feet for the first half of the round, with Markos struggling to find her range. Murata then closed the distance and took Markos down along the fence with about two minutes left in the frame. Murata showed excellent wrist control and came close to mounting a couple of times, but Markos’ length served her well.

Murata nearly had a slam early in round three. While she couldn’t complete it, she stayed on the attempt, landing a takedown on her second record and locking on a D’arce choke. Markos held on, and Murata lost the submission, winding up back in guard. She’d be in control most of the frame, and most of the fight, cruising to a unanimous decision win.

Official Result: Kanako Murata def. Randa Markos by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

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