Randa Markos - From Iraq to UFC
My name is Randa Markos, and I am a professional mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter. I would like to start off by telling you all a little about myself. I am currently ranked sixth in the world in the UFC straw weight (115 lb) weight class.
I was born in Baghdad, Iraq in 1985. Because of the war between Iraq and Iran, my family (my parents, sister and brother) and I decided to leave the country. My father was a soldier and knew that if he stayed, he would be killed. After a long journey as refugees in Turkey, we received our visa to come live in Canada. Although it was very hard for my family to adjust to a completely different life, living in Canada gave me and my family opportunities that we would have never received in the Middle East.
Growing up, my parents were very stuck to the Middle Eastern way of women being in the kitchen, or getting married and having kids at a young age. I was too stubborn to follow that path. I joined every sport I could until I found wrestling, keeping it a secret from my family for years. After my parents refused to let me leave the city to pursue my dream, I found Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Two years of competing later, I took it to the next level and joined mixed martial arts. I had many reasons to give up, but something deep inside pushed me every day to be better and to continue to fulfil my dream to be the best wrestler/grappler. My MMA career has seen a two year gap of girls backing out of fights with me, yet I still pushed forward.
Pushing yourself to be better in whatever it is that you love is not easy. It's hard, it takes sacrifice, discipline and determination, and that's what makes completing a goal feel so great at the end of a long road. I feel that I most likely wouldn't be alive today if we hadn't been given a second chance by coming to Canada. Because of this, I will do whatever it takes to give life and my dream everything that I have.
Facebook: Randa Markos