Randa Markos is a mixed martial artist of Canadian-Iraqi origin who began her professional career in November 2012. Barely 2 years after turning pro, she joined the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in March 2014 and has competed in the strawweight division of the promotion ever since.
Randa Markos Biography
Randa Markos-Thomas was born on August 10, 1985, in Baghdad, Iraq. Her parents are Azhar and Sam Markos both of whom are ethnic Chaldeans and Catholics. She grew up alongside 3 siblings; a sister named Reva and brothers Robert and Chris. When Randa was a toddler, the family fled their home country following the outbreak of the Iran-Iraq war and they spent a couple of years in refugee camps. With the help of a relative, they were able to obtain Canadian visas and eventually settled in the city of Windsor in Ontario, Canada.
Despite escaping war in her country of birth, Randa Markos faced a different set of challenges while growing up in Canada. Her father took to alcoholism and consequently became highly abusive to every other member of the family. Fortunately, Randa was able to find solace away from all the chaos at home by joining the wrestling team of her high school. She continued to excel in wrestling despite fierce opposition from her rather conservative father. Upon graduation from high school, she obtained a Pharmacy Assistant Diploma in TriOS College in Ontario, Canada after which she worked for several years at a local pharmacy.
While maintaining her full-time job as a pharmacy assistant, Randa Markos began her Mixed Martial Arts training at the Maximum Training Center in Windsor, Canada. She was first introduced to the Brazillian jiu-jitsu system and thanks to her background in wrestling, she had a relatively smooth transition into the sport. In her first 4 amateur bouts, the talented fighter recorded an impressive 3 wins and 1 loss. Interestingly, she was forced to turn professional in 2012 due to a paucity of opponents in the amateur category.
Markos marked her professional debut in MMA in November 2012 recording a victory over Allanna Jones. This was followed by a 3-match unbeaten run before suffering her first career loss in her Resurrection Fighting Alliance (RFA) debut opposite future TUF housemate Justine Kish. Following the loss, she swiftly returned to winning ways by defeating Lynnell House in her next match, a victory that earned her the inaugural Provincial Fighting Championships (PFC) strawweight title.
In March 2014, Randa Markos responded to an open call by the Ultimate Fighting Championship for 115-pound female fighters and after an impressive performance at the tryouts, she earned a contract with the organization. In July 2014, she was announced among the last 8 contestants to compete on season 20 of UFC’s The Ultimate Fighter TUF. Despite being seeded at number 14, Markos turned out to be one of the breakout stars of the tournament as she advanced to the semifinal round, eventually losing out to Rose Namajunas in the last episode of the season.
Markos marked her promotional debut for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) on December 12, 2014, at the season finale of The Ultimate Fighter 20, losing out to fellow semi-finalist Jessica Penne by split decision. Despite the defeat, she and her opponent were awarded ‘Fight of the Night’.
Since her debut in 2014, Markos has recorded a pattern of alternate wins and losses at a series of UFC events. She amassed a professional record of 8 wins and 7 losses by July 2018. She still has a lot of fights before her and will in no small way pile up as many wins as possible.
Randa Markos is currently married to Jeff Thomas, a fellow professional mixed martial artist. The duo met while Markos was in college and after dating for a while they tied the knot in 2011. In addition to their blissful relationship, she credits her husband have inspired her decision to become a professional mixed martial artist. Interestingly, he fought in the very first mixed martial arts bout that she ever got to watch.
Height and Other Body Measurements
Randa Markos is 5 feet 4 inches (163 cm) in height. She maintains a bodyweight of 52 kg (115 lbs). The UFC star has an arm reach of 63 inches (160 cm) and a leg reach of 39 inches (99 cm).