Canada’s “Quiet Storm” found herself in uncharted territory at UFC Vegas 41.
Randa Markos, who entered the UFC when the strawweight division was introduced via The Ultimate Fighter 20 in 2014, had for most of her career with the promotion traded wins and loses. Solid, reliable, but never able to put together back-to-back wins.
In her last four fights, however, Markos had posted an 0-4 record, the worst of her career. She was almost certainly fighting for her job on Saturday, as she took on Brazil’s Livia Renata Souza.
Coming off a disappointing DQ loss due to an illegal upkick, Markos looked to impose her will early against Souza. That involved showing some good dirty boxing before driving her opponent into the fence, hunting a takedown that Markos would never actually complete. Instead, when they finally did go to the ground, it was Souza in control; she trapped an arm and went looking for the obvious submission. In turn, Markos gave up her back, and Souza sunk in a rear-naked choke, though the angle was off and Markos was able to survive.
Making the round a little more interesting, Markos was able to transition to the top and finish the first frame there. Throughout, she’d displayed the edge in striking, so there was little surprise when Souza pursued the takedown early in round two. She scooped Markos up and planted her on her back, but as they got back up, Markos in turn put Souza on her back. Or more accurately perhaps, Souza accepted the position. On top in half-guard, Markos dropped elbows to the body, and threw punches to the head while attempting to pass Souza’s knee.
Markos connected clean with her right hand early in the third. She bullied Souza up against the fence, landing several more times before the Brazilian escaped. Markos followed her, unleashing with another flurry. Souza needed a way out, and she found one with a head and arm throw. But Markos transitioned smoothly, taking the back; another transition saw Souza threaten to regain control, but Markos threatened with a rear-naked choke, forcing Souza to give up position.
Heavy Storm coming in the 3rd! @RandaMMA
[ #UFCVegas41 live on #ESPNPlus ] pic.twitter.com/juF47GKv3V
— UFC (@ufc) October 23, 2021
In what was very likely a job-saving effort, Markos took the third round, and the fight, on the scorecards. Snapping her four-fight skid, and pulling out of a tailspin that would likely have ended her UFC career.
Official Result: Randa Markos def. Livia Renata Souza by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)