Illegal kick in the UFC: Why was Randa Markos disqualified against Luana Pinheiro at UFC Vegas 25?

Randa Markos cries after losing due to disqualification against Luana Pinheiro
Randa Markos cries after losing due to disqualification against Luana Pinheiro

Randa Markos landed an illegal upkick which rendered Luana Pinheiro unable to continue, and she was declared the winner via disqualification. The final bout on the prelims card at UFC Vegas 25 unfortunately ended with an illegal strike as Randa Markos kicked a grounded Luana Pinheiro, knocking her out at 4:16 of the opening round. When referee Mark Smith called a stop to the action, Pinheiro, who looked significantly affected by the kick, asked if she had lost the bout.

Luana Pinheiro's judo was on display for most of the first round as she scored multiple high-amplitude throws against Randa Markos. However, the fight was marred by fouls such as an eye-poke from Pinheiro to Markos and then the illegal upkick, which ended the fight.

Randa Markos has dropped her last three bouts inside the octagon against Amanda Ribas, Mackenzie Dern, and Kanako Murata, which puts her on a four-fight skid. The 35-year-old tasted her last victory against Ashley Yoder via split decision in October 2019. The Canadian entered the UFC in 2014 as part of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) Season 20, which introduced the strawweight division.

Meanwhile, Luana Pinheiro made her UFC debut at UFC Vegas 25 after securing a contract with a vicious KO win over Stephanie Frausto in the first round at Dana White’s Contender Series November 2020. Pinheiro was riding a six-fight win streak going into the bout and has suffered only one loss in her professional career. The Brazilian currently holds an 8-1 professional record and is already being touted as the next Ronda Rousey.

Randa Markos wasn't feeling the pressure:

While Randa Markos knew she couldn't afford to lose her fourth fight in a row, she wasn't under pressure going into the fight. The Iraqi-born fighter told before the fight:

"I don’t have pressure on; I know what I’m capable of and it’s time to turn it on. It doesn’t matter who I’m fighting. I just want to go in there and I want to fight, and I want to f***** win. I’m so eager for this and I know I need this, and I love this sport, and this is what I’m here for and f***, I just want to fight.”

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Edited by Avinash Tewari