Lauren Murphy praised Valentina Shevchenko for effectively stifling all of her offense in the UFC 266 co-main event.

Murphy’s (15-5 MMA, 7-5 UFC) long-awaited first UFC title shot came to fruition on Saturday, when she challenged dominant women’s flyweight champ Shevchenko (22-3 MMA, 11-2 UFC) at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. It did not go her way, however, as Shevchenko ended the fight via fourth-round TKO.

Coming into the fight, Murphy was very bullish on her chances to derail Shevchenko’s near-flawless reign. When they got in the octagon, though, reality hit hard. Murphy was unable to generate any effective offense for the 19 minutes the pair shard the cage before she was finally lit up with a fight-ending combination.

It was the first time in Murphy’s career that she’d been stopped inside the distance. It’s not the moment she would’ve like to learn that tough lesson, but Murphy is already digesting the outcome hours later – and although it didn’t go her way, she’s finding points of positivity (via Instagram):

Rough night at the office
I couldn’t do shit in there last night. Sometimes it just be like that. It was an honor to share the cage with a fighter of Valentina’s caliber. I am proud to have earned a spot across from her. I loved the walkout and felt great in the cage. My corners did a great job too. They just kept it simple and positive, like I asked them to.
I can’t stand it when corners rush in and scream at a fighter about how they’re losing rounds… I know when I’m losing rounds and I knew I needed to make something happen. I couldn’t make it happen due to getting hit every time I tried. As the great Chael P Sonnen once said, “The problem is, I was in there with a much better fighter tonight”.
Shit happens, but I’m okay. We live to fight another day. Thank you @ufc @mickmaynard @danawhite for the opportunity, and thank you @bulletvalentina for the fight. It was an amazing experience to fight for the UFC title, I’ll never forget it or regret it. I’ll be back but for now I want to enjoy some time off.
Thanks everyone for your support and kind words! They’re appreciated

Murphy’s loss to Shevchenko snapped her five-fight winning streak at 125 pounds. The former Invicta FC champion expressed her plan to return to the drawing board following a vacation.


Twitter reacts to Valentina Shevchenko’s TKO of Lauren Murphy to defend title at UFC 266


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