Sara McMann bounced back from her first professional loss in her title shot against Ronda Rousey, handing Lauren Murphy her first loss at UFC Fight Night 47. However, the manner in which she did so left a lot to be desired.
McMann was able to land a handful of takedowns though, with the exception of the second round, did little once she got Murphy to the mat. The former Invicta champ, Murphy, was the more active fighter whilst on the bottom, though the judges decided to favour McMann due to her takedowns.
In a questionable split decision, McMann didn’t set the world alight, and will need to build on her performance if she wishes to get back in the title picture.
Check out the play-by-play for the bout below.
Some brilliant matchmaking from Sean Shelby, as Invicta champion and undefeated prospect Lauren Murphy meets Sara McMann, who is fresh off an unsuccessful shot at the title. How this is on the prelim card is beyond me, but fun nonetheless. McMann the -600 favourite, surprising odds considering how dangerous Murphy is.
Round 1 – McMann shoots in on a single leg immediately, and trips Murphy, who lands some nice elbows from the bottom. They look nasty and she’s relentless with them. Murphy trying to get rubber guard. McMann is doing nothing from the top. But she explodes and keeps on top, trying to get in some short shots. Murphy doing a good job of stopping McMann from doing any damage. McMann lands a few short shots. Murphy using the cage to try and get a better position, McMann recognising that. Nice elbow from McMann. Murphy with the heel kicks. Neither fighter are landing anything too notable, but Murphy has been the more active of the two. Short elbow, then body shots from Sara. Murphy relentlessly landing shots from the bottom. None too significant, but they’re adding up and she’s winning the round. McMann posturing up and lands some big right hands, that was the most significant moment of the round. No attempts to improve position from McMann, with only 30 seconds left in the first. A couple more rights land for Sara. Murphy with some shots from the bottom but a nice right lands for the Olympian from the top. McMann lands a couple of rights at the end of the round. Tough one to score.
Cooper scores round 1 10-9 Murphy.
Round 2 – McMann now trying to unload on the feet, but Murphy dodging. Murphy lands a big leg kick then a big right hand. McMann gets the clinch and has Murphy against the cage, good job by Lauren at staying up so far and she exits. McMann lands a couple of jabs then tosses Murphy to the mat but only in the guard once again. That was a lovely manoeuvre by the Olympian, but she needs to try advancing her position once it hits the ground. Laying in the guard isn’t enough. Murphy with an elbow from the bottom, and she’s once again stopping McMann from doing much. McMann gets half guard, but barely has it. Now she adjusts. McMann trying to pin Murphy’s left arm to the mat but the former Invicta champ recognises it. 2 minutes left. Murphy still trying to keep active from the bottom. She regains guard now. Elbows once again. McMann lands to the body. The referee calls for action, and stands them up with 1 minute left in the second. McMann shoots in, Murphy spiralling but McMann sticks on her in the clinch. Short shots by Murphy, McMann landing knees to the body. Nothing happening here. Now McMann drags her to the mat, straight into side control. Elbows from the bottom by Murphy, but McMann has a dominant position. She ends the round in side control, much better from the Olympian.
Cooper scores round 2 10-9 McMann (19-19).
Round 3 – Murphy lands a nice left, and dodges the strikes of McMann. Leg kick from Sara lands. Nice sneaky right from McMann. Both ladies land on that exchange. Slip and rip by Sara, who then lands to the body and a teep. Stiff left by Murphy, who is utilising a lot of movement. Murphy moves just out of range as McMann attempts a big combination. Stiff jabs from Murphy, and she buckles the leg with the kick. McMann landed a nice combination. McMann with the feints then shoots in, Murphy stuffing and making her pay with short strikes. Murphy gets to her feet, escapes the clinch and lands. McMann hits her with a right but Murphy fires back. McMann landing some stiff shots now. Overhand right misses. Half of the third remaining. McMann goes for the single leg, Murphy trying to prevent in but wall walking but unable to. Short shots by Murphy from the bottom, with McMann doing little now. Murphy gets to her feet, McMann staying on her and attempts a trip but Murphy does well. Murphy stuffs the takedown and lands some nice elbows now. Good job by the undefeated fighter. She’s unloading with the elbows and trying to control the left arm of McMann. Possibly a kimura attempt for Murphy. Nope. But more short elbows, and McMann has done almost zero in this round. This isn’t the sort of performance that will get McMann back into the title hunt. Murphy circles away. McMann with a nice jab, then a 1-2 and a leg kick. Murphy ducks below the right. They exchange. That’s the round. I bet McMann gets it, but she really shouldn’t.
Cooper scores round 3 10-9 Murphy (29-28 Murphy).
Result: McMann via split decision (29-28 x2, 28-29).
Disappointing judging, only one judge got that right. It may look good getting a takedown, but if you do nothing with it, it shouldn’t score. Murphy the more active, more aggressive and deserved to stay unbeaten.
Here are the results for the event so far, you can follow the coverage of the full card here.
Sara McMann def. Lauren Murphy via split decision (29-28 x3, 28-29).
Tom Watson def. Sam Alvey via unanimous decision (29-28 x3).
Frankie Saenz def. Nolan Ticman via unanimous decision (30-27 x3).