Murphy unbeaten, ranked 9th in the world [MMA]

September 16, 2013

What started as a challenge has turned into a professional career, and now Lauren Murphy of Eagle River is on top of the world.

Well, actually, she’s ranked ninth in the world, but you get the gist.

The 30-year-old mixed martial arts fighter is unbeaten at 7-0 in the bantamweight division. The 5-foot-8, 135-pounder is scheduled to fight again in January. It’s a welcomed break after having three fights in the last six months.

“I think it’s really nice, you have so much time to sharpen up stuff or things you’ve been neglecting,” she told me. “For now, it’s kind of nice to pick and choose, but when it gets crunch time I will go all out.”

Murphy, of Chugiak High fame, is a relative newcomer to MMA, making he debut in 2010 at the AFC’s Mat-Su Showdown.

“At first I was kind of like ‘OK, I’m going to do one fight’ just to say that I did it, so I can cross it off the bucket list,” she said. “I could tell my grandkids that I did it.”

She won her first fight in 17 seconds by TKO.

“I had so much fun, time of my life,” Murphy said. “It was like, ‘Wow, I’m going to do that again.’ ”

Murphy, formerly Lauren Taylor before her marriage this summer, fought again in the AFC four months later and won again by TKO. She sort of figured her fighting career was finished, especially since Murphy never planned on making this a career.

She had been in nursing school.

“I have no athletic background at all,” she said. “This is like the first sport I’ve ever done.”

But once she got a taste of MMA, she was hooked.

“My third fight was for a championship, so I couldn’t turn that down. My fourth fight was for a championship, so I couldn’t turn that down. My fifth fight was the first time I was on TV, so I had to do that. My sixth fight was with Invicta, which is like the promotion everybody wants to fight for, so I had to do that. Now I just have to keep going.”

In July, Murphy won her biggest fight to date, scoring a unanimous decision victory over tenth-ranked Sarah ‘The Monster’ D’Alelio, on the Invicta FC 6 card in Kansas City.

She wants to take her MMA career as far as possible because she knows the ride won’t last forever.

“Fighting is fun and I want to make as money as I can,” Murphy said. “I’ve only got three or four, maybe five years left in me, before things start to go downhill. I’ve got to make a name for myself while I can.”