When Lauren Murphy got the call to fight Cynthia Calvillo on Fight Island, she couldn’t have been more excited. A win would almost certainly send her into a flyweight title shot, and the prospect of showing off her grappling against someone of Calvillo’s caliber was of peak interest. But, as the fight game is one to do, she had to scrap those plans when Calvillo withdrew from the bout and in stepped Liliya Shakirova making her UFC debut.
While a late change can certainly flip plans on their head, Murphy is taking it in stride as she enters the Saturday bout on a three-fight win streak.
“It’s disappointing for your matchup to fall through,” Murphy told UFC.com. “It can be a little nerve wracking, but this is still a great opportunity for me, and there’s no rule that says I can’t still show off my grappling in this fight.”
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That sense of confidence doesn’t just stem from her recent run, but from a year’s worth of work and changes that propelled her up the flyweight ladder. After dropping a unanimous decision to Sijara Eubanks in June 2018, Murphy moved her camp to work with Bob Perez and company in Houston, Texas.
There, Murphy rediscovered something she hadn’t realized she lost: her confidence.
“I think I just had no confidence the last five years or so, and that really showed,” she said. “That showed in The Ultimate Fighter. It showed in my performances. It showed in my interviews. It showed in the way that I carried myself, and I didn’t realize that that was the problem until I started working with a new team and was able to get some of that confidence back.”