eVitality Voices: The Blog
Recently I was invited by the UFC to train at the Exos gym in Arizona. I had such a great time that I decided to share it with all of you. I had no idea what to expect when going to Arizona only that I was going to a strength and conditioning gym. I have been to many strength and conditioning facilities with different coaches in the past but nothing compares to the Exos gym.
Women’s MMA has come a long way. From rumours saying that there will never be women in the UFC, to having two weight classes jammed with talent and exciting fights. We have had so many women pave the way for the rest of us to make our mark now and in the future. These women have worked so hard to give the rest of us the respect we deserve inside and outside of the gym. We have gone from changing the mind of the head of the UFC Dana White, to MMA fans around the world.
Life can be difficult. We as fighters decide to make it more difficult by putting ourselves through the process of preparing to get in the cage, and then actually getting into the cage to fight someone who has been preparing to fight us. My recent training camp has been very up and down. I have days were I feel like I’m doing great, that everything is going as planned, I feel positive and think this is what I’ve been working for. I then have days where I feel like it’s my first day of training ever and I just want to break down and cry. But this is the process.
A really big part of MMA is your weight. There are many different weight classes in MMA, but in the UFC there are two main weight classes for women; 115lbs (straw weight) and 135lbs (bantamweight). I am a straw weight fighter. Having only two weight classes for women creates a challenge for many because being in the UFC is the primary goal for most fighters. Since women’s MMA in the UFC is still very new, cutting or gaining weight is a sacrifice we must make to enter one of those weight classes to be able to compete.
Coming from a rough upbringing, what I've picked up is that keeping a positive mental attitude is very important in life. Life is full of ups and downs, struggles, and unexpected events. We all have these moments, it’s a part of being human! Sometimes we feel that we are trapped in a situation we think we can’t handle. We, as humans, are a lot stronger than we think. Looking back at life I've been in situations where I wanted to escape life because I didn't think I could handle it, or I felt that I’d had enough. Now I wish I could go back to that time and tell myself that “ it’s going to be okay ” and that time will pass and make me stronger both emotionally and mentally.
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.