Lauren Murphy on Liz Carmouche: “The game plan is to whoop her ass.”
At UFC Fight Night 63 in Fairfax, Virginia, former Invicta Bantamweight champion Lauren Murphy (8-1) will make her second foray into the Octagon, facing Liz Carmouche (9-5) in the last fight in the prelims. In Murphy’s debut, she fought former title contender Sara McMann (8-2) in August of 2014, losing via split decision despite outstriking McMann three to one.
Losing via decision was Murphy’s first loss, and after several months’ reflection, she’s changed her approach. “I think I just went in to that fight with the wrong mindset. I tried to win that fight off my back and I know now that’s not possible,” she said, in an exclusive interview with Women’s MMA. “Get up, get up, get up. I could have won the McMann fight if I had been smarter about it. Sometimes, you just have to live and learn like that. I made an error and it cost me the fight; that happens to a lot of fighters who lose, so I am not ashamed of it.”
Miesha Tate (16-5) was Sara McMann’s next partner, at UFC 183, winning via majority decision. As in Murphy’s fight, McMann tried to utilize her wrestling, but it didn’t go her way – so much so that two judges each scored a round 10-8 in Tate’s favor. I asked Murphy what she thought of that fight. “Tate was smart where I was dumb- she refused to settle for being on bottom, and when McMann tried to put her there, Tate refused and made sure to end up on top in the beginning of that third round,” she said. “I had no idea that McMann’s jiu jitsu would be so bad from her back. I was surprised by that.”
Murphy fights out of Glendale, Arizona these days, training at the MMA Lab under John Crouch. Among her teammates are highly regarded, fellow UFC fighters Benson Henderson and Mitch Clarke. So far, so good, she says. “I was making a lot of progress in Houston, and I had great coaches out there, but The Lab has such a big team of MMA fighters and a schedule designed specifically for them, it’s made a difference. I feel like I’m improving at a rate that should alarm the rest of the females in the division.”
So what’s her game plan for Carmouche? “I always give the same answer to this question….”The game plan is to whoop her ass, from every possible position.” And that’s true. I want to be the best MMA fighter I can be. I’ve been working really hard in all different disciplines, and I’m starting to blend things together to be a truly mixed martial artist.
“I think Carmouche and I are very, very similar, honestly. We both love ground and pound, are fair in the clinch and strong for our sizes. We both work really hard. Neither of us are expert at any one thing, but we both are pretty good everywhere. It’s going to be a great fight.”
Though her focus is on the Carmouche fight, Murphy is already considering her next prey. “Bethe Correia (9-0), Tate or (Jessica) Eye (11-2) were all on my list, but they all have fights. I’ve been keeping an eye on Marion Reneau (6-1).”
Before any of those, however, Murphy will appear on Fox Sports 1 today. The prelims begin at 11 am/8 am ET/PT. And on the main card, also on Fox Sports 1, Julianna Pena (5-2) makes her return against Milana Dudieva (11-3). Don’t miss either!
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