Lauren Murphy, Ashlee Evans-Smith Win At UFC Fight Night 83After suffering a pair of controversial decision defeats, former Invicta FC champion Lauren Murphy earned her first UFC victory tonight at UFC Fight Night 83: “Cerrone vs Oliveira” in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Murphy stopped short-notice replacement Kally Faszholz very late in the third round.

Faszholz got off to a strong start in the opening round, but Murphy took over as the fight progressed and she overwhelmed Faszholz with elbows before the final bell. Elsewhere, Ashlee Evans-Smith eked out a decision win over Marion “The Belizean Bruiser” Reneau in a bout marred by dreadful scoring.


Murphy (9-2-0) traded power punches with Faszholz (3-1-0) in the opening minute and Faszholz got the better of the early exchanges by tagging her more experienced opponent with combinations. She landed more punches in close and backed Murphy up with a flurry. Murphy landed a nice leg kick, but she ate a hard one-two in return. Murphy bloodied Faszholz’s nose with a combination and she followed with a powerful right hook in the final minute of the round.

The second round began with a clinch battle against the cage and Murphy targeted Faszholz’s legs and midsection with knees. A bloodied Faszholz broke free and pressed forward with big punches, but Murphy began to counter effectively with jabs and hooks. Faszholz’s nose continued to bleed heavily, but she remained active with her striking and both women landed kicks. Murphy pinned Faszholz against the fence and landed short punches in close. Faszholz dragged her down before the bell.

Murphy was very aggressive in the final round and she scored a key takedown into Faszholz’s guard. From the top, Murphy dropped elbows and punches to Faszholz’s head and body. She eventually mounted Faszholz and rained down more elbows and punches until the bout was finally waved off.

With tonight’s victory, Murphy gets right back into championship contention after dropping disputed decisions to former UFC title challengers Sara McMann and Liz “Girl-Rilla” Carmouche. She has knocked out seven opponents to date.

Winner: Lauren Murphy by TKO (Elbows & Punches) at 4:55 of round three. She improves to 9-2-0.


In tonight’s featured prelim, Evans-Smith (4-1-0) rallied late in her fight with Reneau (6-3-0) en route to a razor-thin Split Decision victory. Evans-Smith got off to a good start in the early exchanges by mixing up her strikes with punches and body kicks. Two minutes in, Reneau stormed forward and badly rocked Evans-Smith with a huge flurry of punches. Evans-Smith survived the onslaught and stayed on her feet, and she landed more punch-kick combos. Reneau took her down and locked on a mounted guillotine choke just as time expired. Unbelievably, two judges scored the round in Evans-Smith’s favour.

Both women landed kicks to the lead leg and body early in the second round. Reneau established her jab and countered Evans-Smith’s kicks with overhand rights. She chopped away at Evans-Smith’s lead leg, which forced her to switch stances. Evans-Smith slowed down and Reneau cracked her with a body kick and a short right uppercut in the final minute.

Evans-Smith scored with stiff jabs and body kicks in round three while Reneau preferred to throw single punches from a distance. Evans-Smith tripped Reneau and stood over her, but Reneau defended with upkicks and the fight returned to the feet. Evans-Smith remained the aggressor with kicks and she avoided Reneau’s right hook counters. In the final 30 seconds, Evans-Smith landed knees and elbows in a clinch against the cage.

One judge scored the close fight 29-28 for Reneau. A second judge returned an indefensible score of 30-27 for Evans-Smith. The final judge had it 29-28 (originally incorrectly announced as 29-27 due to an addition error) for Evans-Smith, who took the narrow win.

Winner: Ashlee Evans-Smith by Split Decision (30-27, 29-28, 28-29) after three rounds. She improves to 4-1-0.



(Photo Credit: UFC)