Lauren Murphy has responded to her loss to Valentina Shevchenko in the co-main event of UFC 266 on Saturday night, and the one-time flyweight title challenger was candid about her performance.
Murphy was dominated against Shevchenko and was unable to do anything offensively to deter the champion over the course of the fight. The ‘Bullet’ appeared to be on her way to another unanimous decision win before a right hand stunned ‘Lucky’ late in the fourth round. Shevchenko followed up with a perfectly timed head kick and a barrage of punches up against the cage, where she then took Murphy to the ground and unloaded with elbows that went unanswered, which forced referee Keith Peterson to stop the action.
The loss to Shevchenko was the first time Murphy had been finished in her professional career, but she has already reflected on that and vowed to fight on. Hours after the fight, Murphy took to social media and described her performance as a ‘rough night at the office’ in some honest post-fight comments.
“I couldn’t do shit in there last night,” wrote Murphy. “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…,” continued Murphy. “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.”
You can read the full statement from Murphy below:
Murphy earned her championship opportunity against Shevchenko after going on a five-fight win streak, with wins over Andrea Lee, Roxanne Modafferi and Joanne Calderwood among her highlights. The No. 3 ranked flyweight contender alluded to taking some time off before making her next appearance in the Octagon.