Unbeaten Murphy chases biggest scalp of his career

mma13 May 2024 09:05| © Backpage TXT
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Lerone Murphy © Gallo Images

Lerone Murphy will chase the biggest scalp of his MMA career when he faces veteran Edson Barboza in the featherweight main event of a Fight Night at the APEX Facility in Las Vegas on the morning of Sunday 19 May 2024.

Murphy (13-0-1) is unbeaten in his career and has put together a five-fight win streak from 2020 to 2023, most recently defeating Joshua Culibao via unanimous decision in July of last year.

The 32-year-old Englishman, dubbed ‘The Miracle’ for surviving a shooting in 2013 and a cycling accident in 2022, is happy to live under the pressure of having an unbeaten record.

“What’s happened happened, but also I feel like I’ve got bigger fish to fry,” Murphy said. “I’m heading for the top, I want the top contenders.”

He added, “Like the saying, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and it’s [being unbeaten] made me stronger in mindset and stuff like that.

“But I understand why fighters do feel like that, because in this game, a loss is like a year setback. Obviously it’s a small window as an athlete, so I do get the pressure.”

Barboza (24-11) is a veteran of 35 professional MMA fights and is chasing a third straight win, having beaten Billy Quarantillo (first-round knockout) and Sodiq Yusuf (unanimous decision) in the past 13 months.

The 38-year-old Brazilian remains as hungry for the fight as ever: “It’s funny because I think my last 10 fights have been with people younger than me, I’m [still] stood here, I’m still one of the best in the world. I feel better than ever, great training for five rounds. It’s going to be a war, I train for war. It’s going to be 25 minutes of war.”

The rest of the fight card includes a co-main welterweight clash between Khaos Williams and Carlston Harris, as well as Zimbabwean welterweight Themba Gorimbo chasing a third straight win when he faces Ramiz Brahimaj.

UFC FIGHT NIGHT: Barboza v Murphy – Fight card

- Main event: Featherweight: Edson Barboza v Lerone Murphy

- Welterweight: Khaos Williams v Carlston Harris

- Light heavyweight: Oumar Sy v Rodolfo Bellato

- Bantamweight: Adrian Yanez v Vinicius Salvador

- Women’s strawweight: Luana Pinheiro v Angela Hill

- Welterweight: Themba Gorimbo v Ramiz Brahimaj

- Middleweight: Abus Magomedov v Warlley Alves

- Lightweight: Victor Martinez v Tom Nolan

- Women’s Bantamweight: Hailey Cowna v Tamires Vidal

- Women’s strawweight: Piera Rodriguez vc Ariane Carnelossi

- Women’s strawweight: Vanessa Demopuolos v Emily Ducote