Lauren Murphy returns to action at this Friday’s UFC Fight Night 131 event when she takes on Sijara Eubanks in a flyweight contest.
Murphy (10-3) makes her second promotional appearance as a flyweight after defeating former Invicta FC champ Barb Honchak at the TUF 26 Finale last December.
Her opponent Sijara Eubanks has been telling the press that reigning flyweight champ Nicco Montano hasn’t made the most of being a champion and believes she’ll lose the belt to herself or Shevchenko in the near future. The general opinion amongst fans is that Montano is scared of Shevchenko. “Lucky” Lauren Murphy disagrees and jumped to Montano’s defense during a recent chat with Fightful MMA’s James Lynch.
“I did and I’m so glad you asked me about that, Nicco’s not afraid of sh*t and I don’t know who got the idea that Nicco is scared of Valentina Shevchenko. I lived with that girl, I trained with that girl and I fought that girl. I’ll tell you something, she’s not afraid of anybody. I do not think she is afraid of Shevchenko, but I do know that she was sick and she wants to be healthy before she fights again…that’s fair. The girls from TUF, you have Sijara who missed weight (at the finale) and hasn’t fought in six months and she has never fought in the UFC. They (the UFC) are putting her in this big fight and giving her all of these opportunities to succeed, but Nicco can’t be sick? She fought like five times in four months, she just won the inaugural (women’s flyweight) title…she has every right to take a break if she wants. I just think this idea that she’s afraid of Shevchenko is…I think people are underestimating her quite a bit, I think its sad and I kind of feel for her. I’ve been on the wrong end of hate…online and stuff, most of the time the fans don’t know what they are talking about and they kind of just blindly go with whatever they think is going on. Anybody who’s met Nicco knows how hard she works and how brave she is, she’s a very good fighter and she belongs in the UFC. She belongs right where she is at, I’m really looking forward to that fight (Nicco vs. Shevchenko) and I’m not counting her out at all, Shevchenko’s tough and she’s a monster and its hard to pick against her. Nicco’s really strong and really good and she’s tricky, she’s got that new school style that’s hard to predict. I’m really looking forward to that fight and its gonna happen, I think Nicco’s gonna step up,”says Murphy.
UFC Fight Night 131 takes place this Friday June 1 from the Adirondack Bank Center in Utica, New York, United States. The preliminary card featuring Eubanks vs. Murphy will be aired live on Fox Sports 1 from 8pm EST.