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Morning Report: Randa Markos accuses Luana Pinheiro of taking a dive: ‘I wasn’t leaving that cage without a win and she stole that from me’

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UFC Fight Night: Markos v Pinheiro Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Though it was forgotten later after Jiri Prochazka delivered one of the best knockouts of the year, in the prelims of UFC Vegas 25, there was a bout steeped in controversy.

In the main fight on the prelims, Randa Markos took on Luana Pinheiro in a pivotal bout for Markos’s career. Markos had lost four of her last five bouts and was likely in the position where a loss would mean the end of her UFC run. As such, Markos came out with a lot of intensity, and even after suffering a cut to her eyelid early in the first round, “Quiet Storm” made no bones about wanting to continue the fight. Unfortunately for her, things went south shortly after referee Mark Smith restarted the round.

Upon the restart, Markos came storming across the cage at Pinheiro, winging punches and trying to create a brawl. Though she did have more success than she had been having before the eye poke, Markos still found herself getting tossed to the mat by the Judo black belt, a move Pinheiro repeatedly used on Markos on Saturday. This would be the last time though as after Pinheiro threw her, Markos attempted to kick Pinheiro off her and ended up landing a flush kick the Pinheiro’s head while the Brazilian was still on the mat. What happened next is the cause of much controversy.

Pinheiro had a delayed reaction to the kick and then fell back to the floor, writhing around in apparent pain. However, the delayed reaction from Pinheiro caused the UFC commentary team’s Paul Felder to suggest an alternate explanation. “Eh, I think we’re seeing a little bit of, what do you call it, acting,” Felder said on the broadcast. UFC Hall of Famer Michael Bisping then jumped in and discussed the power of upkicks while the ringside physician checked out Pinheiro. At this time, a still supine Pinheiro asked if she lost the bout, at which point Felder retracted his “acting” comment and the bout was called off and ruled a disqualification win for Pinheiro since Markos’ kick was deemed to be intentional by referee Mark Smith.

Markos was visibly upset by the decision in the cage and following the bout, the commentary team rewatched the fight-ending kick several times with Felder seemingly waffling on the legitimacy of Pinheiro’s compromised state. Markos though has had no such trouble in making a determination, posting to social media yesterday where she responded to the bout and accused Pinheiro of taking a dive.

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. 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 #ufc #quietstorm #mma #easywayout #littlebitch

For what it’s worth, Markos is not the only person to question Pinheiro’s intentions. A number of fans seem to feel that Pinheiro was far less hurt than she appeared and even former two-division champion Henry Cejudo posted to Twitter saying Pinheiro acted her way to a win.

In the end though, even if a number of fans and fighters do believe Pinheiro could have continued, it doesn’t make much difference. The official result is another loss for Markos, her fourth in a row, and could spell the end of her tenure in the UFC.


Results. Jiri Prochazka scored violent spinning back elbow finish of Dominick Reyes at UFC Vegas 25.

Contender. Jiri Prochazka reveals inspiration for spinning back elbow knockout, believes he deserves next title shot.

Appeal. Kai Kamaka’s manager filing appeal over ‘blatantly horrible decision’ in his loss to T.J. Brown at UFC Vegas 25.

Feud. Francis Ngannou fires back at Jon Jones, calls him a ‘decision fighter’; Jones responds.

Boxing. Frank Mir recaps Triller boxing experience, Oscar De La Hoya’s unprofessional commentary.


UFC Vegas 25 Post Show.

UFC Vegas 25 Post Fight Press Conference.

UFC 261: The Thrill and the Agony.

Spinning Elbow cartoon.

UFC Antitrust explainer.


On To The Next One. Matchmaking for the UFC following UFC Vegas 25.

Severe MMA. Discussing UFC Vegas 25 and the Diego Sanchez saga.




Quick turnaround.


Call out.

Good deed.


Anthony Johnson (22-6) vs. Jose Augusto (7-2); Bellator 258, May 7.

Brandon Vera (16-8, 1 NC) vs. Arjan Bhullar (10-1); ONE Championship, May 15.


Gonna poll everyone to find your thoughts on it but this seems pretty clear to me. Which one of these scenarios is more likely true:

Pinheiro got hit by an upkick and was legitimately compromised, it just looked kinda funny.


Pinheiro decided to take a dive in a fight she was obviously winning so her UFC debut could be marred by the specter of cowardice.

We may never know the answer.

Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.



Did Pinheiro take a dive?

This poll is closed

  • 66%
    (866 votes)
  • 33%
    (446 votes)
1312 votes total Vote Now

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