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UFC 186: Randa Markos defeats TUF 20 teammate Aisling Daly in a back and forth war

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UFC 186 kicked things off with a very strong match up on paper between top ranked Canadian strawweight Randa Markos and top ranked Irish strawweight Aisling Daly. The fight also delivered inside of the cage. Here’s some play-by-play from the Bell Centre in Montreal.

Markos, who now trains at Michigan Top Team alongside UFC vet Daron Cruickshank, came out landing some strong and significant strikes. Her straight right and her hooks were landing at will with Daly keeping her hands a little low out of the gate. Not really enjoying getting punched in the face, Daly was keen to work on Markos against the cage where she’d eventually score the first takedown of the contest. Markos was able to score a reversal though where she’d eventually move to top position and work for an arm-triangle choke with just under a minute left in the opening stanza. Markos would look for an armbar after the failed choke attempt but Daly was able to escape and end the round with another takedown.

Daly was able to score a takedown with just under a minute gone in the second round after an early exchange. Markos worked her way back to her feet and landed a slick throw putting Daly in a headlock. From there, she’d pound away with short lefts to the face. Daly was able to get back to her feet and hold Markos back against the cage where she’d work for, and score a single leg takedown. A scramble ensues, Daly gets the better of it and she opened Markos up with a wicked elbow over her left eye. Another short elbow from Daly as she worked for the kimura; Markos is visibly slowing at this point of the fight. A right elbow from Daly, more shots and a late choke attempt. It’s quite possible that Markos was saved by the bell here.

The third begins with Daly getting Markos back up against the cage where she continues to wear her opponent down. Markos reverses and looks for a takedown of her own – she gets it and she’s right back into side control with that same headlock she had in the opening round where she land some short lefts as Daly remains flat on her back. She gains the full mount position after a scramble. Markos continues to work for submissions but Daly survives only to hear Bruce Buffer read the judges scorecards (30-27, 29-28, and 29-28) in favor of Randa “The Quiet Storm” Markos.

While the 30-27 scorecard did seem like a little home cooking inside of Montreal’s Bell Centre, the right fight won in the end.

“When we trained in The Ultimate Fighter, I caught her a few times with that move,” Markos explained to Joe Rogan in her post-fight victory interview when asked about the headlock she was able to employ on multiple occasions in the right. “I knew I could get her with it, that’s why I went for it.”

“I don’t wanna just be in the UFC,” Markos told Rogan. “I wanna be the best. I knew it was gonna be a brawl when I got locked in the cage and I was ready for it.”

Markos moves to 5-2 after her first career UFC win after a close split decision loss to Jessica Penne in her UFC debut at the TUF 20 finale late last year. Her TUF 20 teammate drops to 15-6 following a submission debut over Aussie Alex Chambers in her UFC debut which took place on the same card as Markos’.

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