On Saturday Lauren Murphy will be making her return to The UFC Octagon. She will be facing Valentina Schevchenko who unlike Murphy, has been a lifelong martial artist. But Murphy may have what it takes to defeat Schevchenko and is a testament to what one can achieve when they put in a whole lot of hard work and dedication. Murphy has made a career out of proving people wrong, and putting in a lot of hard work, and Murphy has clawed her way back for a title shot which she definitely deserves.
Murphy was born in Anchorage, Alaska on July 27, 1983. When Murphy was 11 her father was killed in a plane crash which caused a major upheaval in Murphy’s life. She began drinking at this young age and this led to other problems in her life including drug use. She would end up dropping out of high school.She’d go on to give birth to her son.
Murphy’s drinking would get to the point that her family didn’t want to associate with her. In 2009 Murphy’s life changed for the better, as she took her son to a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class. She decided to take a class also to encourage her son to keep taking the class, and she fell in love with the sport and started training regularly. She’d eventually start training MMA a short while later.
Murphy would take her first MMA bout six months into her martial arts career skipping the amateur step of her career completely. This would pay dividends because she’d win her first four fights leading to her first title Alaska Cage Fighting Featherweight championship. From there Murphy would move on to bantamweight where she’d fight her next four fights eventually capturing the Invicta Bantamweight Championship belt.
In 2014 Murphy joined the UFC roster. She made her debut on August 16, 2014 in Bangor, Maine. Unfortunately for Murphy she’d lose the bout and she’d go on to lose her second bout to Liz Carmouche. Murphy would get her first win in the promotion against Kelly Faszholz on February 21, 2016 by TKO in round three. Murphy then faced Katlyn Chookagian and unfortunately she would lose this bout too. It was her only third loss of her career
She would say of her early UFC career; “I felt like I was still a little bit in over my head and like I was still the new kid on the block,” she said. “I had only trained for four years when I got into the UFC. It wasn’t like I had been around the game for ten years-plus or had a wrestling background, boxing fights or judo tournaments. I didn’t have any of that. I trained MMA for four years when I walked in and fought an Olympian (Sara McMann). So a big part of me felt like I didn’t belong there quite yet. And it was hard to shake. It took my brain a while to catch up where I was at.”
Murphy would go back to the promotion when she competed on The Ultimate Fighter 26 where she fought to become the 125 pound champion. She’d make her return to the UFC Octagon for The Ultimate Fighter: A New World Champion Finale where she was an alternate and fought Barb Honchak. Murphy would go on to win that fight and would go on to win 5 of her next six fights which gave her a shot at the women’s Flyweight title.
Murphy is currently ranked third in the UFC’s Women’s Flyweight division. Murphy will face Women’s Flyweight champion Valentina Schevchenko on Saturday September 25th and it’s sure to be a great fight. Murphy proves that with hard work anyone can turn their life around.
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