Ukraine’s Maryna Moroz says she cried every day before UFC 272, pleads for return to ‘normal life’


Maryna Moroz earned the most emotional win of her career on Saturday when she submitted Mariya Agapova in with a second-round arm-triangle choke at UFC 272.

The 30-year-old flyweight is a native of Ukraine and spoke passionately about the conflict in her homeland with Russia both before and after the fight. In an appearance Monday on The MMA Hour, Moroz detailed the chaotic lead-up to UFC 272 that left her emotionally drained but also motivated to provide a brief moment of positivity for a country badly in need.

“I [was] thinking, ‘I need this fight. I need to finish and show everybody that Ukraine is strong,'” Moroz said on The MMA Hour.

” I was more focused. I felt more motivated [because] to win this war. I want to show Ukraine that if I win, then Ukraine can win this war.”

Moroz said she didn’t sleep for 24 hours after her win at UFC 272 because she was so overcome with emotion from the experience. She explained that she had tried to steel herself as much as possible throughout fight week to keep her mind on the task at hand, however every day in Las Vegas was a struggle. Her thoughts drifted back to her home country half a globe away. It was hard for her to do so.

“It was really hard for me. I cried [a lot]. “People didn’t see it,” Moroz stated.

” My manager and I tried to create a video to thank my sponsor. But I would start doing something, then I’d stop crying. Every moment I’d say, ‘Maryna, you’re strong. Stop, stop. You’re strong, you need to be strong. Do not cry, think or look at the news. But, all that time, I would open Instagram to see terrible news and messages. Russian people [were] writing me terrible messages. My opponent’s friend, she lived together, [would] write bad message, ‘Oh, today, kill [people] and your family die,’ like bad messages. I’d cry, but every moment I’d say, ‘Stop. You’re strong, strong. You can do it. You can.'”

Fortunately, Moroz said that her family is currently safe. Their family owns a farm in the countryside of Ukraine and supplies food for the Ukrainian military. Moroz stated that she sent money to her family because the resources in her area are limited and her mother is beginning to run out of funds. Moroz said that her family refused to leave their farm in search of safety, and she requested they do so.

” My family is not in [the city],, but it’s still very dangerous,” Moroz stated. It’s unsafe to remain in the country or territory, as Russians are able to enter any village. So my father make a lot of Molotov cocktails and have a couple guns at home. My sister’s husband go in the army, out right now, he’s protecting the city.

” My family would like to remain,” Moroz said. “I asked about if I can help them move, [my mother] said, ‘No, we don’t want to move. We will stay home. We will stay home, no matter what. I’m scared to think about this, and it’s just scary for me. My family is my priority. But they refuse to let me move. My cow is my best friend. Chicken is my favorite food. No, I am staying. Take guns and I will stay in my house.’ And that’s it. She’s ready to kill the Russian army is they come in the home, to save the home.”

At the moment, Moroz is unable to do anything except send supplies and watch, hoping for the best. Due to ongoing visa issues, Moroz cannot help but stay in America. She maintains daily contact with her loved ones and has made a passionate appeal for peace to end the conflict. Too many of her countrymen have already lost their lives.

“I know a couple of my friends [have joined] the army and died. It’s sad,” Moroz said.

” I see the terrible images of children dying and destroying whole cities, home fires, and many other scary photos. It makes me sad. It’s a terrible time. I have no words [in English].. It’s so scary. It’s hard to not cry every day. And I want this to stop. It will end one day. I want to go back in my country again, normal life.”