“I am a superstitious person,” admitted Markos, who is acutely aware of the unique streak and spoken in the past about working with a sports psychologist. “But I never looked at it like well, this is one I lose because I’m not going into a fight expecting to lose; I’m doing whatever I can to win that fight and whatever happens, happens.
“But it sucks,” she added with a laugh, clearly able to have a little fun with her one-of-a-kind UFC resume.
“You look back at my fights and there are fights that I should have won that I lost. I feel like the fight with Marina Rodriguez — even she said she thought I won that fight. The fight in Mexico City (against Alexa Grasso), I thought I won that fight; I felt like I did enough to win that fight.
“But I always bounce back,” continued Markos, pointing out the “glass half-full” way of looking at her win-one, lose-one pattern. “I have this weird determination after each loss that I wish I could carry on with me, but one day I’ll figure it out, and when I do, I’ll be unstoppable.”
That tenacity and steely resolve is something Markos forged early on in life, when she had to lie to her parents about going to wrestling practice by telling them she was playing volleyball, and was then strengthened when her passion carried her into the cage while she balanced a full-time job with training, all while facing negative backlash from family members who discouraged the Iraqi-born competitor from pursuing her combat sports dreams.
Now, all these years later, it’s not only the thing that sends her back into the cage after each setback, hell-bent on securing a victory, but a big piece of what has helped her remain at the ready as she’s waited for the opportunity get back into the Octagon.