UFC on ESPN 11 Results: Lauren Murphy Outstrikes Roxanne Modafferi

Roxanne Modafferi and Lauren Murphy, UFC on ESPN 10
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JUNE 19: (L-R) Opponents Roxanne Modafferi and Lauren Murphy face off during the UFC weigh-in at UFC APEX on June 19, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

In a battle of top-ranked flyweights, Lauren Murphy would get a hard-fought decision win over Roxanne Modafferi.

MMA trailblazer Roxanne Modafferi, one of the longest-serving fighters on the ladies’ side of the sport, was back in action at UFC on ESPN 11. “The Happy Warrior” entered the night 3-3 since returning to the UFC in 2017 and was coming off a key win over Maycee Barber. Having notched past victories over Barb Honchak and Antonina Shevchenko, Modafferi had a chance to put herself on the path to a title shot with a win over Lauren Murphy on Saturday.

Murphy, meanwhile, was looking to make it three in a row by taking out Roxy. With wins over Andrea Lee and Mara Romero Borella, Murphy was arguably in her best spot since prior to joining the UFC.

In the octagon Saturday, Murphy opened up with a leg kick immediately but ate a stiff jab from Modafferi. Murphy landed another leg kick, and that was a showcase of things to come. Modafferi landed a nice combination and then got the fight into the clinch up against the cage. Modafferi started landing some knees to the body but was unable to get the takedown. Murphy’s strength would be a key factor in stopping those throughout the night, in fact. Murphy got off the cage and landed another leg kick quickly. Modafferi landed a right of her own, then landed another stiff jab. Modafferi looked to blitz in and ate a big right hand from Murphy that caused Modaferri to back off. Murphy would land another big right hand afterwards, ending the round on a high note.

Modafferi opened up quickly throwing a combination to start the second round. Modafferi landed a spinning back kick, and Murphy landed a huge right hand that rocked Modafferi. Roxy backpedaled. Murphy would look for the finish, but Modafferi would fire back and recover. Modafferi landed a clean right hand, but it was clear her punches had far less sting than Murphy’s. Modafferi would get the fight into the clinch and look for the takedown, but Murphy was too strong and ended up getting a takedown of her own — eventually getting the back. Modafferi would get up and get back into the clinch; she would get the takedown briefly but Murphy would scramble and end the round on her feet.

Modafferi started off fast to start the third, and landed a stiff elbow on the feet, right after her corner suggested it as well. Murphy landed a hard right that stopped Modafferi right in her tracks, but Modafferi would recover and land a combination en route to getting the fight into the clinch. Modafferi would get the Thai clinch and land some big knees before they separated. Modafferi and Murphy would trade right hands, and Modafferi seemed to believe she was down on the scorecards so she was pushing hard in the final minutes. She wasn’t wrong. Modafferi would land a combination, but in the final seconds Murphy would get a big takedown to end the fight on top, likely securing her victory.

The unanimous decision win for Lauren Murphy made it three in a row for the flyweight. That probably deserves a big step up in a competition in a weight class where just a couple wins can land a title shot.

Official Result: Lauren Murphy def. Roxanne Modafferi by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)