It was a wild 15 minutes between Andrea Lee and Lauren Murphy at UFC 247, but it ended with another questionable decision.
KGB Lee had been touted as a title contender in the UFC women’s flyweight division, right up until a loss to Joanne Calderwood last September. The UFC 242 split decision, which did not go her way, might prove to be only a minor setback, however, if she could bounce back in a big way. Her chance would come at UFC 247 in Houston, Texas on Saturday night. Her opponent, the gritty Lauren Murphy, with the UFC since 2014.
Murphy was one of those rare fighters who, while under contract to the UFC, opted to join a season of The Ultimate Fighter. In her case, it was TUF 26, which introduced the flyweight division for the ladies. While her time on the show didn’t pan out in terms of championship aspirations, the move to flyweight certainly didn’t hurt. Heading into Saturday night against Andrea Lee, Murphy was 2-1 in the weight class.
Lauren Murphy met KGB Lee in the middle with a leaping punch and Lee answered with a two-punch combination. Both fighters’ faces were red early on from taking strikes. Lee was consistently landing a jab as Murphy pushed forward. The exchanges became increasingly more powerful as the fight went on, with jabs turning into hooks and haymakers. Lee’s mouthpiece popped out twice in quick succession, drawing a warning from the referee. Lee connected with a clean head kick and was getting the better of the exchanges. Murphy tried to make something happen with a late takedown in an attempt to steal the round.
Lee and Murphy took about a minute to find their range after a wild first round, and then the wild exchanges picked up again. A slick combination landed for Lee and Murphy responded with a double collar tie that Lee broke out of quickly. Lee started mixing kicks in once again, connecting high on Murphy, who was struggling to land as cleanly. A brief clinch exchange took place and the fighters returned to the center. Similar to the first round, Murphy drove Lee to the ground with little time remaining.
Lee started off the final round with a left hook and several leg kicks. Murphy landed a jab that backed Lee up, then slipped while attempting a head kick. Lee snapped down and attempted an anaconda choke, but couldn’t get it and ended up on her back. After some top position time for Murphy, Lee kicked out and got back to her feet. Lee began going to the body of Murphy then shot for a takedown and couldn’t get it. A clinch battle ensued and both women went back and forth against the fence. They broke apart with little time left and Lee landed a few more strikes before the final bell.
Lauren Murphy def. Andrea Lee by Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)