Murphy drops split decision in UFC debut

Beth Bragg

Not everyone agreed with the split decision that sent Eagle River fighter Lauren Murphy to defeat in her UFC debut Saturday, but Murphy took the setback like a champ.

Reports of the UFC women's bantamweight fight in Bangor, Maine, indicated that Murphy delivered more hits, but Sara McMann of Maryland claimed victory by virtue of repeated takedowns.

Online accounts criticized McMann, 33, for a lackluster performance, but Murphy wasn't complaining, at least not publicly.

"(T)akedowns count for a lot and they decided the fight," Murphy said on Facebook. "The only way to for sure win a fight is to finish it, and I was unable to do that tonight. I take full responsibility for this loss and will come back better.

"I am not ashamed of a split decision to one of the best in the world."

Two judges gave the fight to McMann by a score of 29-28; one judge had Murphy winning 29-28.

Among media scoring the fight, six gave the win to McMann and four favored Murphy, according to mmadecisions.com. According to reports, Murphy outstruck McMann by a 2 to 1 margin,  but McMann’s takedowns proved pivotal.

"I wish I had walked away with the win, but I am still proud of my performance," Murphy posted. "I thought I had the first and the third (rounds), but not everyone agreed with me."

McMann, a silver medalist at the 2004 Summer Olympics, was coming off a loss to Ronda Rousey of Expendables 3 fame. She improved to 8-1.

Murphy, 31, who earned an Alaska Fighting Championship belt in 2010 when she first began fighting, slipped to 8-1. She is the eighth Alaskan, and first Alaska woman, to fight at the UFC level, the world's premier fighting promotion for mixed martial arts. 

The 135-pound bout was part of UFC Fight Night 47.