Murphy signs four-fight deal with UFC, debuts in August

July 17, 2014

Lauren Murphy Mixed Martial ArtsThe call she’s been waiting for finally came for Lauren Murphy of Eagle River.

She’s going to the UFC.

The world’s biggest and baddest mixed martial arts league has signed the undefeated bantamweight to a four-fight deal, starting Aug. 16 in Maine against accomplished fighter and former Olympic wrestler Sara McMann.

“I couldn’t be happier with the matchup. It’s a really tough first fight and I’m really excited about that,” Murphy told me. “I’m really glad to get a tough fight right out of the gate.”

The 30-year-old Alaskan has an 8-0 career record as a professional, including a 3-0 mark with Invicta, another pro fighting league.

It was only four years ago that Murphy began fighting for money – now she’s bound for the major leagues of MMA.

“Words can’t even describe how excited I am. Once I found out I was in the UFC, I did the girly jump up and scream, and jumped in my husband’s arms,” she said with a laugh.

“I plan to outwork everyone around me. I’ve tried really hard to push myself passed what I thought was possible. Making the UFC is a big deal but I have to remember I’m just making it to the starting line of the biggest race. There is a lot more hard work ahead of me.”

Murphy, of Chugiak High fame, will face a fighter in McMann who last fought in a title match and lost to UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey. McMann, 33, has a 7-1 record, 1-1 in the UFC.

This will be the biggest fight in Murphy’s life.

“I want the tough fights. I want a challenge so when I do well I can look people in the eye and say I went out there and I performed,” she said. “I don’t want to just make the UFC and be content to be there. I want to tear up that division. I want to be successful in the UFC. I want people to remember me and I want to put on great fights, so that means I have to work even harder now and I’m excited to get that process started.”