Sport Recognizing risk, Lauren Murphy didn't think twice about accepting newcomer at UFC 254
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ABU DHABI – Lauren Murphy was supposed to fight a top contender at UFC 254 but will take on a promotional newcomer instead.
After Cynthia Calvillo withdrew from their fight, the UFC signed promotional debutant Liliya Shakirova as a replacement. Despite the high-risk, low-reward nature of the matchup, Murphy (13-4 MMA, 6-4 UFC) didn’t think twice about accepting.
“It’s a huge risk,” Murphy told reporters, including MMA Junkie, at a pre-fight news conference Tuesday. “I’m at the top right now. This fight with Cynthia was a big fight. It was going to maybe mean a lot of things. To step in and fight somebody that’s brand new that we know nothing about, yeah, it’s a huge risk. But it was a risk I was willing to take to come out and have the ‘Fight Island’ experience and hopefully cement my place in the division. So it never occurred to me, ‘Let’s not do this.’ I told Mick, ‘Put me on the plane. I’ll fight whoever.’ It’s going to work out, for sure.”
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Despite losing her highly ranked opponent, Murphy thinks there could still be opportunities to be earned with a win over Shakirova (8-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC). A victory would signal four in a row for Murphy.
“We just have to see how the fight goes. It really depends on how the fight goes, really,” Murphy said. “I think that’s kind of the case with any fight. You’ve got to see what happens in the first one before you move on to the next one. There’s a lot happening in the division right now. It’s a pretty exciting time to be in 125.
“… As long as I give an impressive performance, then I’m in a good spot. You know what I mean? Really, from this point, it’s just about giving the best performance that I can. Maybe Cynthia and I will see each other down the road. Who knows?”
Alex Morono vs. Rhys McKee joins UFC's Nov. 14 lineup
A pair of welterweights will look to rebound on Nov. 14. (17-6-1 MMA, 6-3-1 UFC) will face (10-3-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) in an event which takes place at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. Multiple people with knowledge of the situation recently informed MMA Junkie of the booking but asked to re main anonymous as the promotion has yet to make an official announcement. Morono is coming off an upset knockout loss to newcomer Khaos Williams at UFC 247 in February. Prior to that, he picked up consecutive wins over Song Kenan, Zak Ottow and Max Griffin.
UFC 254 takes place Saturday at Flash Forum on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. The main card streams on pay-per-view after prelims on ESPN 2/ESPN+.MORE:
Ode Osbourne, Jerome Rivera set to face off at UFC's Jan. 30 event .
Two former Contender Series prospects will go head to head in the octagon on Jan. 30, 2021 as they chase their maiden UFC win at the second time of asking. After picking up victories on Dana White's Contender Series, and both suffered defeats on their respective…After picking up victories on Dana White’s Contender Series, Ode Osbourne and Jerome Rivera both suffered defeats on their respective UFC debuts. But now they have been matched together for the UFC’s upcoming event on Saturday, Jan. 30. MMA Junkie confirmed the matchup with people with knowledge of the situation following an initial report by MMA Fighting. The event’s location has not yet been confirmed.