UFC 254: Incensed Lauren Murphy Says Maia Title Shot Makes Flyweight Division a Joke

Abu Dhabi, UAE — A fired up Lauren Murphy put the flyweight division, UFC matchmakers, and the official rankings panel on notice following UFC 254.

Murphy (14-4) improved her current win streak to four with a rear-naked choke submission of Liliya Shakirova on the PPV card. The 37-year old from Anchorage, Alaska was supposed to be facing Cynthia Calvillo at the event. But with Calvillo pulling out, it was promotional newcomer Shakirova on short notice instead.

The win probably won’t do much for her in the 125lb divisional standings when all is said and done. But Murphy believes she’s already done enough to secure herself a title shot. And she’s incensed to see Jennifer Maia earn a shot at champ Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 255 next month.

Here’s Murphy, in her own words.

On the Women’s Flyweight Rankings

You guys can hold your questions, I have some questions of my own. Why the f*ck am I ranked at number five? Look who’s ranked above me right now. Cynthia has one win in the division. What has she done? She decisioned Jessica Eye? Five people in a row beat Jessica Eye at one point in time. Jennifer Maia has two wins at flyweight. I know you guys think she has three but in one of those wins, she was a bantamweight. So she has two wins at flyweight. Who else is ranked above me? There’s one more. [Jessica] Andrade is number one,

[Katlyn] Chookagian just got finished in the first round. I’ve never been finished. Never once in my career has anybody even come close to finishing me and you guys have a girl that just got finished and I know you’re gonna say ‘well, Chookagian beat you.’ She beat me three years ago at bantamweight on a short notice fight. It’s way over. I should be ranked, bare minimum, number two if not number one, the only person that has an argument to be ranked above me right now is Andrade. That’s it.

Being Overlooked On Her Current Win Streak

I’ve been on a win streak and I’ve been pretty quiet. I’ve been pretty quiet about what I’ve been doing. But it’s like man, I was looking at what I’ve done. It’s like okay, I knocked out Mara [Romero Borella]. She was ranked number 12. By the way everybody I fought in this division has been ranked. That too. It’s not like anybody’s handed me any easy fights in this division. Not once since the day it opened. I fought Barb Honchak. She was widely considered the flyweight GOAT when I fought her. I knocked out Mara Borella. I beat Andrea Lee, I think I was a three-to-one underdog and by the way, every single one of you scored that fight for Andrea which I find hysterical. I knocked her mouthpiece out three times, scored every single takedown in that fight, had all the cage control and scored every strike in the clinch, but whatever.

JoJo [Joanne Calderwood] beat Andrea Lee by split decision and she got a title shot. And then I beat a UFC title contender when I beat Roxanne Modafferi. I could go on and on, you guys, about what I’ve done in this division and my career as a whole. And I’m just I’m really tired of being overlooked. I feel extremely overlooked. And when the rankings came out last Tuesday, and I was number five, you guys just bumped everybody down. I’m like, there’s two girls that have one win that are ranked above me. This is insane. It’s crazy. I’m over it.

Jennifer Maia’s Title Shot

It’s a joke. What? Why? What did Maia do to get a title shot? She beat Jojo Calderwood who took the fight on a week’s notice. You beat a girl, she’s one and one in her last two and she’s missed weight twice in her last three. And you’re giving her a title shot? I have never missed weight and I’m on a four fight winning streak over tough people. I took a huge chance going in there tonight. With where I’m at in the rankings, fighting a girl who’s a lifelong grappler with a great record, a champion in another promotion. I put everything on the line to come out here and fight that girl. To give Maia a title shot is a joke. If anything, they should pull Maia from that title shot, put in Andrade and then I’ll fight the winner of Andrade-Shevchenko. Tell me you guys don’t want to see Andrade fight Shevchenko more than you want to see Maia fight. Come on. And then they can have Maia and Cynthia fight. I don’t want to tell the matchmakers how to do their jobs. Like seriously, that’s not what I’m trying to do. But if I have my way, that’s the way it will go down. I can understand why Andrade deserves a title shot. So give her one. Pull Maia from that fight. That’s crazy that she’s getting a title fight. It’s crazy.

The “Joke” Flyweight Division

I’m going to talk to the UFC and I’m going to see what they want. But honestly, giving Maia a title shot right now makes a joke of the division. It makes this division a joke. And that’s why people are always talking sh*t about it. I saw some comment that was like ‘my grandma could go on a two-fight win streak and get a title shot.’ Like apparently not because I’m on a four fight win streak and nobody’s even talking about it. Hook me up with your grandma, I’ll beat her ass too. And then maybe they’ll give me a title shot. I don’t know. Like, I don’t know what I have to do. But I feel like I’ve passed every test that the UFC has given me and Lord knows they’ve given me a lot, you know? I don’t know what else I have to do at this point. It’s like, I’ll fight Cynthia, if that’s what they want me to do. I’ll fight Andrade if that’s what they want me to do. But it’s like, how are you going to feel good about giving Maia a title shot when she’s on a one fight win streak and she’s missed weight a bunch of times? I don’t understand that. I don’t get it.

Watch the full UFC 254 post-fight press scrum with Lauren Murphy above.