Lerone Murphy isn’t one to dwell on the past, it seems. And can you blame him?
Murphy (9-0-1) is part of the new wave of British MMA fighters. On Wednesday at UFC Fight Island 1, he put on a dominant showing against Brazilian Ricardo Ramos. Flipped the script, scored a takedown of his own, en route to a TKO finish. A bonus-winning one at that.
No wonder he wants to look forward. His future is bright. While his past seems absolutely surreal to those on the outside looking in. Murphy survived being shot in the face — twice — in 2013.
All the more reason to look ahead. And, Murphy told Cageside Press following his first win inside the octagon, he feels the same way others do about what he’s been through.
“It is [surreal] for me as well, because I’ve seen both ends. I don’t like looking back, I’m always looking forward and we’re trying to get to that championship,” he said following his win in Abu Dhabi. “I’m always doing better than I was, aiming for the belt.”
He certainly is doing better. His first UFC bout ended in a draw against Zubaira Tukhugov. Many felt he’d done enough to win. He left no question this time around.
As for scoring the takedown on Ramos, it was never part of the game plan, but opportunity knocked. “It just presented itself really. We train all facets of MMA: wrestling, jujitsu, everything, so it just come out,” Murphy explained. “I knew he was going to spin, I watched a lot of tape on Ramos, and when he spun from underneath, we took the back. And ground and pounded.”
With his first UFC win under his belt, Murphy will now wade deeper into the promotion’s 145lb weight class. “The featherweight division is crazy right now. The levels are high,” he observed. There’s no callout on his lips at the moment. Just a willingness to stay ready. “Whoever Sean Shelby [UFC matchmaker] matches me with, we’ll fight and I’m sure it’ll be a great fight. On the future, we’re gonna go back to the gym, do a lot of work, get better again, get better again and when we get a call, hopefully we’ll be ready and get in there.”
Watch the full UFC Fight Island 1 virtual post-fight press scrum with Lerone Murphy above.