UFC women’s flyweight Lauren Murphy believes her next championship opportunity proves the efforts of other fighters will pay off.
After more than seven years in the UFC, Murphy will fight for gold for the first time at UFC 266 later this month. And “Lucky” certainly didn’t come face to face with the champion by chance.
Since losing to Sijara Eubanks in 2018, the 38-year-old veteran has won five straight wins. Victories over Mara Romero Borella, Andrea Lee, Roxanne Modafferi and Liliya Shakirova led her to claim the title. But it was an impressive split decision victory over former top five Joanna Calderwood that secured her title shot.
In her way to the glory of the championship will be the dominant Valentina Shevchenko. Since winning the vacant 125-pound title with a victory over Joanna Jędrzejczyk in 2018, “Bullet” has defended gold five times. The brutal performances of Jessica Eye and Jéssica Andrade showed the class gap between the champion and her challengers. Murphy hopes to challenge this account on September 25.
Ahead of the most important fight of her career to date, Lauren Murphy spoke to James Lynch of MMA News. Discussing his rise to the top, the Alaskan suggested his trip should serve as a motivation for other UFC fighters. She said it’s proof that hard work pays off.
“Everyone who is involved in sport wants to know that hard work pays off. No one who is involved in the sport wants to see the favorites get title shots. No one wants to see people who lose weight or miss fights being rewarded when they have other fighters putting on weight and winning fights, “Murphy told MMA News. “People want to know that hard work will pay off. And I think I’m kind of an embodiment of that, that you can fall, get up, keep working hard, try again, and eventually those efforts will pay off. I think everyone actually wants to see this. So I am proud to represent that.
Watch our full interview with Lauren Murphy ahead of UFC 266 below:
Murphy’s title challenge will be the first of two exciting championship fights scheduled for UFC 266. In the main event this year The ultimate fighter coaches Alexander Volkanovski and Brian Ortega will collide. After winning his belt from Max Holloway and defending it against the Hawaiian immediately after, Volkanovski will look to successfully defend his belt for the second time against “T-City”.
The stacked event will also mark the return of fan favorite Nick Diaz. The Stockton native hasn’t entered the Octagon since 2015 and will seek his first win since 2011. Diaz will face Robbie Lawler, whom he first met in the cage in 2004.
Do you think Lauren Murphy has what it takes to beat Valentina Shevchenko?