Lauren Murphy was confident that she would prevail even though the oddsmakers had placed her in the position of an underdog going into the UFC event that took place on Saturday.
The previous challenger for the women’s flyweight title was dead set on getting her hand raised at UFC on ABC 3 and proving that she was not going to be Miesha Tate’s stepping stone in any way, shape, or form.
Tate, a former UFC and Strikeforce bantamweight champion, was reducing her weight to 125 pounds for the first time in her career. Her highly anticipated flyweight debut was preceded by a great deal of speculation around a potential championship showdown versus reigning champion Valentina Shevchenko.
Murphy (16-5 MMA, 8-5 UFC) liked playing the part of the underdog, but she never considered it to be a realistic possibility.
“This is up there. This is a great day. Those are some great moments. I’m very happy right now and I think part of it, too, is that I’m not — like, there’s been big victories that I’ve had where I’m almost in disbelief, like, ‘Oh, I can’t believe I won that. That’s f*cking amazing,’” Murphy told reporters at the UFC Long Island post-fight conference. “And right now, I feel like, ‘Yeah, I won that because I’m a badass. I’m a bad motherf*cker. I should’ve (won that).’ I have the ability to win fights like that, and I’m right where I belong.’”
With this victory, Murphy was able to put behind her defeat at the hands of champion Shevchenko during their title bout in September of 2021. Since the start of 2019, Murphy has a record of 6-1, and the only loss she’s suffered was against the champion. Murphy’s victory over Tate was her first victory over a fighter who had previously held the title of UFC champion.
It is clear to Murphy that she is proud of her performance, and she believes she is just getting started.
“A lot of stuff that we did in practice happened tonight, and it just feels good to come back and get a win over a former champion,” Murphy said. “Nobody is going to walk over me in this division. … When I’m healthy and focused, I’m a force.”