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‘I worked on a farm, milked cows & slept on the gym floor’: UFC’s Maryna Moroz on early career hardships

‘I worked on a farm, milked cows & slept on the gym floor’: UFC’s Maryna Moroz on early career hardships
UFC starlet Maryna Moroz has detailed the hardship she faced in reaching the highs of professional MMA, including menial farmwork as a 10-year-old in her native Ukraine that saw her milk cows and sleep on gym floors.

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Twenty-eight-year-old Moroz made her UFC bow in 2015 and currently has a 5-3 record with the promotion, but her road to the big time began far away from the bright lights of the octagon.

The strawweight hails from the tiny village of Vilnohirsk in Eastern Ukraine around 400km from the capital Kiev, where she undertook farm work as a young girl and was forced to live in the pantry in a gym where she slept on the floor.

In a heartfelt post on her Instagram account, Moroz bemoaned mistreatment and a lack of support in her home country for her career, and credited ability to find strength with helping her manage to achieve her “dream” of making it as a pro fighter. 

“Many do not know about my hard life before UFC and what I had to go through when I got to UFC. I show only the best on my instagram,” she wrote.

“For 8 fights in UFC I never got interviewed in Ukraine, I didn’t have sponsorship! I am the only girl from Ukraine in UFC. I worked hard all the time. Many people lied to me, used me. I even had to live in the pantry in the gym and sleep on the floor, I was so prepared for fights. 

“The hardest thing then l was 10 years [old] I worked on a farm. I milked cows, worked in the garden, unloaded the car with grain ..... but I had a dream, I wanted to get into professional sports. you ask how it is possible to work and train?!. it was hard but I found strength! Want to continue the story?”

Moroz's last outing was on the undercard of the Kevin Lee versus Charles Oliveira on March 14, where she claimed a decision victory over local fighter Mayra Bueno Silva in the Brazilian capital of Brasilia. Nicknamed ‘Iron Lady’, Moroz also moonlights as a coach for the Ukrainian national boxing team.