Randa Markos is accusing Luana Pinheiro of taking a dive in their strawweight bout at UFC on ESPN 23.
Markos was disqualified after landing an illegal upkick while her foe was on her knees 4:16 into the opening round at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas on Saturday night. Once the blow connected, Pinheiro fell back to the canvas and remained there for several minutes with a dazed expression on her face. Once it was determined the Brazilian would not be able to continue, the bout was waved off by referee Mark Smith.
During the broadcast, UFC analyst and fighter Paul Felder questioned the legitimacy of Pinheiro’s reaction, and Markos did the same on her Instagram account. Earlier in the bout, Markos had been on the receiving end of multiple eye pokes, the last of which prompted a pause in the action and opened a cut on the Canadian fighter’s eyelid.
That foul never hindered Markos’ ability to continue, and the two strawweights brawled in the center of the Octagon once the fight resumed before Pinheiro executed a throw to get “Quiet Storm” to the canvas. Shortly thereafter, Marko landed the upkick from her back that brought an abrupt end to the bout.
“I’ve been in the fight game for a while now. I’ve never intentionally thrown a illegal blow. It’s a fight, shit is bound to happen,” Markos wrote. “I took three eye pokes (requiring stitches and loss of vision) and never thought for a second that I wasn’t going to continue. I had such a good camp training with @travislutter, @cdpowertrain and @adams.justin1 in Texas and was ready to showcase my skills for the greatest fight promotion in the world. Yes my foot grazed her but that my opponents inability to continue seemed a bit oversold and suspect. I let her know after the eye poke that I wasn’t leaving that cage without a win and she stole that from me.
“I’m excited about whatever is next. I have a tone of heart in me that needs to be let out. Thank you to everyone that helped me with this camp. I love you all and I’ll be back soon.”
Markos, who competed on Season 20 of “The Ultimate Fighter,” has lost four consecutive fights within the Las Vegas-based promotion — became the first female fighter in UFC history to reach 10 losses in her career on Saturday night.