Maryna "Iron Lady" Moroz is in the biggest fight of her life, at home, and at work. The women’s flyweight fighter is from war-torn Ukraine and faces Mariya Agapova in the octagon at UFC 272 on Saturday.
Moroz has many friends, family, and loved ones living in Ukraine as it defends itself from a Russian military invasion.
“My family okay, but ready for protection city because it's so, right now, dangerous…I talked with my family and every couple hours I call because I'm so worried because… my family is sitting with guns right now in home,” Moroz tells MILLIONS.
When she walks into the octagon on Saturday she’ll be wearing 'Stand With Ukraine' merchandise to support everyone living in her home country. “I love my country…I want to show my strong Ukraine shirt and people see and support me and show that Ukraine is strong. People in Ukraine strong.” Proceeds will go towards UNICEF and that organization’s emergency response effort in Ukraine.
Moroz also says she’s feeling inspired by Ukraine’s other famous fighters. “I’m proud of my Klitschko…my President Zelenskyy that he stays with Ukraine. Right now, not left and stay support my country. That's so amazing. And it gives me more energy for my fights.”
Moroz is in for a tough fight against Agapova, and there’s no love lost between the former teammates turned rivals. They trained together at American Top Team, but Agapova left, and now they don’t like each other very much.
“I know what she do good, and I know what she do bad,” says Moroz, “we make my game plans and I'm ready for this fight.”
While Moroz is focused on her individual fight at UFC 272, she the weight of the bigger battle on her shoulders. “I want to say thank you for American for support Ukraine… I have many message right now in my Instagram… Russian too write me a good message. Ukraine message write. Europa, America, Brazil, everybody write me a good message and support my country and me.”
You can support Moroz and all the people of Ukraine by buying 'Stand With Ukraine' merchandise. Moroz also posts updates on Instagram @maryna_moroz_ufc.