SAO PAULO – Randa Markos’ last octagon outing didn’t end with a win, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t bring her any gains.
In fact, as the strawweight will tell you, the unanimous-decision loss to Nina Ansaroff at UFC on FOX 30 prompted her to address key issues that, while different in nature, reflected negatively in the cage.
Let’s start with the more technical aspect.
“There was a big hole in my game and that was leg kicks – leg kick defense,” Markos told MMAjunkie. “And that really opened my eyes to – you always think that you have everything and then all of a sudden it’s ‘Oh, go back to the drawing board and fix some things.’”
Markos (8-6 MMA, 4-5 UFC) will have an interesting opportunity to show what she’s learned on Saturday, at UFC Fight Night 137. After all, a little more than two months after going up against Ansaroff, she’s got herself another opponent whom she perceives as a kicker in newcomer Marina Rodriguez (11-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC).
“It’s definitely a big leap that I need to fix on and then right away get in there and see if I fixed it,” Markos said. “It’s good. It’s a good lesson.”
But leg kicks aren’t the only issue that the meeting with Ansaroff forced Markos to confront. A UFC fighter since 2014, the fighter has yet to lock in two straight wins – or two straight losses, for that matter. And she’s trying to get to the bottom of why.
“I learned a lot about myself, especially my mental game,” Markos said. “I’ve been so consistent with my win-losses, and after my last win, before I even knowing I had to fight Nina, I immediately told myself I’ve got to lose my next fight. So it was like a huge mental battle I was facing through the entire camp and I tried to ignore it, ignore it.
“And then the week of the fight it got really bad. I’m really trying to fix that. And obviously, it’s that. Because I’ve beaten some of the top names and I lost to people I shouldn’t have lost.”
That too, Markos says, has been addressed.
“I always thought I was a mentally strong person – physically and mentally, I’ve always (been) strong, I’ve always faced a lot of the hard times in my life,” Markos said. “But I realized that I needed help. I definitely got the help that I needed.
“I definitely went to look for professional help. I’ve been working with a sports psychologist. It’s been pretty good. I’ve been facing my fears and all the things I’ve been ignoring, so it’s good.”
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: After 'huge mental battle' in lead-up to Ansaroff loss, Randa Markos working with sports psychologist