It was no secret that Lauren Murphy was taking a step up in competition.
That’s not to discredit her past opponents, which include Kaitlin Young, Sarah D’ Alelio and Miriam Nakamoto, nor is it tarnishing her accomplishment of becoming the first Invicta FC Bantamweight champion. However, fighting in the octagon for the first time is a big step for every fighter, including Murphy.
The former Invicta champion faced former UFC title contender and silver medalist Sara McMann on the undercard of UFC Fight Night: Bader vs. St. Preux. Murphy managed to last all three rounds against McMann, but ended up falling short in two of the judges’ score cards while a third thought she won the fight.
Although this is the first blemish on Murphy’s record, she should have nothing to be ashamed of. She went three rounds with an opponent who had a better grappling game. I think if the fight would be stayed standing, Murphy would have won. Still, there’s always the next UFC fight and believe me, she’s earned another go in the octagon.
It’s no surprise why the third judge scored the fight for Murphy. Although McMann kept Murphy on the mat and landed sporadic punches, The Alaska fighter was active on the bottom, throwing elbows. Some judges look at who’s on top but some favor the fighter who is active whether they’re on bottom or top – just ask Kevin Randleman and Bas Rutten.
As for who’s next, one possibility could be “The Iron Lady” Germaine de Randamie. The striking experience between the two of them could make for an interesting fight in the octagon. Jessica Eye is another candidate. She’s well-rounded and her overall skill set would give Murphy a good challenge.
Who do you think Murphy should fight next? Answer with a comment below or send a tweet to @cagepagesfs.