Locking up the biggest win of her career at Invicta FC 6 with a win over Sarah D’Alelio, Lauren Murphy is ready for the next level of her MMA career: competing for the Inaugural Invicta FC Bantamweight World Championship.
Squaring off against knockout machine Miriam Nakamoto on December 7th, Murphy is honored and humbled to have reached the pinnacle of her sport. With a well rounded game and sheer brute strength, Murphy is ready to strap the belt around her waist at Invicta FC 7.
Corey Smith: Your last appearance in the Invicta FC cage, was a win against Sarah D’Alelio. How happy were you with that performance?
Lauren Murphy: I had mixed feelings about it. At first I wasn’t sure I deserved to win it, but after reviewing the fight I feel the right decision was made. I mean, I never know what the hell is going on after I fight. Walking back to the locker room, I was afraid the fight had been boring. Of course it wasn’t, but when I’m right in the middle of everything, I never know what’s going on.
LM: So when I got home I watched the fight many times. I saw that it wasn’t boring and that it was a close fight and the right call was made by the people sitting ringside. I know it was close, but I believe I won the third round because I caused more damage, and that’s what won me the fight.
LM: So of course that’s always good, but I will never be ‘satisfied’ with my performance. There is so much more work to be done and improvements to be made and I really can’t be happy with myself until I feel I’ve reached the top of my game.
CS: You have spoken in the past about enjoying a short notice fight due to the shorter camp that goes along with it. How has the longer camp treated you this time out?
LM: This has been a great camp for me. I got to go home and ‘recharge’ for a while with my family, so when I came back to camp I was really ready to work. And that’s what I’ve done. Put in TONS of work. I’ve made a lot of progress physically and mentally, as well as in my technique in different areas of MMA. It’s been pretty exciting! Lots of epiphanies and “ah-ha!” kind of moments.
CS: With training camp injuries a common occurrence in MMA, how do you balance getting the full amount of training that you require but still guarding against injury? What does a typical day of training camp entail for you?
LM: As far as injuries go, I am (so far) very lucky. I train with men; the ones closest to my size still outweigh me by about 20 pounds! But, they are skilled and don’t throw me around…too much ;) My coaches oversee all our practices pretty carefully, so the injury rate stays relatively low.
LM: Sometimes freak accidents happen no matter how careful you are and they can’t be avoided, but I haven’t been injured in a long time. *knocks on wood* I did have a little bout with staph a few weeks before I fought Sarah and I got very sick, but I haven’t had an injury keep me out of a fight yet. It’s the illnesses that I really worry about, the passing colds and stuff because they rob you of your cardio.
LM: Typical training days are very long. I do lots of…..everything. Seriously. I try to sleep as often as possible. It’s lonely, but it’s nice to not be distracted too.
CS: At the post fight press conference for Invicta FC 6, your now husband proposed. What was that experience like for you?
LM: Ha! Okay, I’ll try to keep it short, since I could go on all day about how much I love that guy. He’s truly amazing and I feel really blessed to have him. It was a little surreal, Cyborg was sitting next to me (She’s always been one of my favorite fighters), Tito Ortiz is cutting her hand wraps off, I’m at a press conference for one of the best MMA promotions on the planet, coming off the biggest win of my life…and the man of my dream is proposing to me. It was like something out of a movie. I’m incredibly happy and very thankful to have such a great life.
CS: Your opponent at Invicta FC 7, Miriam Nakamoto, brings a very high level Muay Thai skill set into the cage with her. What are your thoughts on Nakamoto? What do you believe the key to this matchup will be for you?
LM: Nakamoto’s tough, man. I always think if I had her name, my nickname would be “Knock-em-out-o”, especially since she’s wrecking shop and really IS knocking chicks out left and right. She’s undefeated in like almost 30 fights or something. I don’t know her exact MT record, it’s in the high 20’s, plus her MMA fights that have ended in KO…you don’t get that kind of record by being a chump. So I’m excited, you know? She’s truly one of the best, and I get to fight her.
LM: The key, for me, it always has been and always will be, I just go in there and I do me. I do ‘me’, she’s gonna do ‘her’, and whoever is the best ‘them’ that night comes out the winner. That’s all there is to it. I’m going to be the best MMA fighter I can be, and if it’s enough that night, then I win. And if it isn’t, as long as I did my best, what else can anyone ask for? I’ve done everything I can to prepare myself, which is all I can do.
CS: Your bout against Nakamoto will be for the inaugural Invicta FC Bantamweight World Championship. What would winning the world title mean for you personally?
LM: It’s an honor to fight for it! When I first signed with Invicta, I told Joe, “Hopefully I’ll be able to win a few fights in this promotion, they have some tough females!” And Joe said, “One day, you’re going to fight for their belt”, and I kind of brushed it off. Well, baby, you were right. So it means admitting my husband knows what he’s talking about ;) It really is an honor though. There’s no other word for it. I’m honored and humbled. Five years ago, I never dreamed I’d be where I’m at today, so all this is like a bonus level in the game of life.
CS: Who generally accompanies you to the cage? What type of feedback and coaching do you prefer from your corners?
LM: Pat Applegate has always been my MMA coach and corner since I lived in Alaska. Since moving to Texas, I met Alex Cisne who is now my kickboxing coach (and a damn good one). So I have always had them with me at Invicta. For this fight, we get to have my boxing coach, Aaron Pena there with us too. He’s always been a part of my camps but hasn’t sat in my corner until this fight.
LM: I trust my coaches implicitly. In the middle of the fight, they tell me to do something, I do it. Immediately. There have been times when Pat tells me to do something, and I think, “This isn’t going to work….” And I do it anyway, and it’s always worked. So if Pat told me, “Stick your arm in the air and wave your pinky finger around”, I would do it. I listen to whatever they tell me. As for what I like…Who cares if I like it or not. In that moment, no one gives a sh*t about what I like, not even me. I just want to win the fight. And they are there to tell me how to do that.
CS: For those that have not experienced it, how would you describe the walk out to the cage?
LM: It’s like being on a roller coaster, and it’s the part where the roller coaster is just starting, and it’s going up the first hill all slow, and you hear the “chick- chick-chick-chick” of the coaster on the tracks and with every inch you start to get more excited and nervous, but there’s no getting off the coaster once it’s started- you’re in for the ride, ready or not, you can’t get off now. You just have to throw your hands up, scream your lungs out, smile for the camera, AND ENJOY THE RIDE.
CS: Aside from fight preparation, how much MMA do you watch purely for enjoyment? Anyone in particular that you are a fan of?
LM: I watch MMA all the time! I like Forrest Griffin a lot, and Anderson Silva. I think Silva may actually be from another planet. I have been into Johnny Hendricks lately, especially since he fought Carlos Condit, who I am also a fan of. Hendricks is always just having a good time, he’s excited to fight and he’s exciting to watch. His energy makes me happy.
CS: Your coach orders you to take a day off from training and bars you from the gym. How are you spending that day?
LM: In camp?? LOL Sleeping! And doing homework. Getting out of bed as little as possible. But when I’m at home, I love to cook, bake, read, and go to the beach. I LOVE the beach. More than anything, when I’m in camp, I miss my husband and dog, and my son. I’d give almost anything to have them with me all the time.
CS: Lastly, MMA takes a team to succeed alone inside the cage. Who would you like to thank?
LM: Everyone at Gracie Barra Katy, especially: My coaches, Ted Stickle, Wesley, Skylar, Fillimore, the Munoz family, Ryan, and T. Jacob for the strength training, Brian Marvin, and all the guys at Westchase and Draculino’s.
LM: Also, my awesomesauce sponsor American Knockout Wear, they totally rock!
LM: My manager Paul Stockler, and my biggest supporters, Aurora and Jen, and Mike and my mom. I love you mom!