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After winning UFC fights, these Anchorage women sported smiles bigger than their bruises

  • Author: Beth Bragg
    | Sports
  • Updated: December 3, 2017
  • Published December 3, 2017

Anchorage fighter Lauren Murphy (right) poses with Gina Mazany (left) and Sarah Lorimer (center) at weigh-ins last Thursday, the day before she won a UFC fight in Las Vegas. Mazany is an Anchorage fighter who recently won a UFC fight in China, and Lorimer is the owner of the Alaska Fighting Championship. (Photo courtesy Sarah Lorimer)

Their faces were bruised and swollen, but Anchorage fighters Lauren Murphy and Gina Mazany were both beaming after claiming recent UFC victories.

Murphy sported a fat lip, a swollen nose and bruises around both eyes Friday night after scoring a split decision over powerhouse Barb Honchak in a flyweight match at The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale in Las Vegas.

Murphy snapped Honchak's nine-match winning streak for the second UFC win of her career. In what amounted to a short-notice fight, Murphy triumphed 29-28, 28-29, 29-28.

Mazany wore a bandage above her slightly swollen left eye and had an angry red scrape on her right eye late last month after her unanimous bantamweight victory over Yanan Wu at UFC Fight Night 122 in Shanghai.

Mazany racked up the first UFC victory of her career with scores of 30-27 from all three judges in the Nov. 25 bout.

Their injuries were minor, especially considering the carnage often seen in the octagon. But their accomplishments were major.

"I'm so happy. Life is so good right now," Mazany told MMAjunkie in a post-fight interview. "… This is a very, very, very important win to me."

The fight provided a second chance for Mazany, a Bartlett High graduate who lives in Las Vegas.

Her UFC debut in February ended quickly when Sara McMann, an Olympic silver medalist wrestler, stopped her with an early first-round submission.

Mazany (5-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) fought McMann on short notice, but for her Shanghai fight, she had the benefit of a weeks-long training camp.

Mazany said she spent a couple of weeks during camp on crutches after dislocating a bone in her foot. Nevertheless, she was ready to go this time.

"I was prepared for this fight and I think that was the main difference," she told MMAjunkie. "… (T)he Sara McMann fight I took on short notice and the only thing I had coming out there was a female fortitude of just being crazy and strong and thinking I can do everything."

Murphy (10-3, 2-3), who grew up in Anchorage and lives in Arizona, was all smiles as she joked with reporters after her win over Honchak (10-3, 0-1).

Both Murphy and Honchak are former champions in the women's Invicta Fighting Championships, and both starred in The Ultimate Fighter 26, the reality television series on Fox Sports that culminated with Friday's finale.

Murphy's scheduled fight was canceled, but she stayed in Las Vegas as an alternate.

"We didn't know who we were going to fight or even if we were going to fight," Murphy said at the press conference. "So to step up and fight Barb? Barb Honchak, on one day's notice? To me, it just says a lot to me about me.

"And I'm proud of that. We didn't have a camp for her. We didn't have time to prepare for her. And she's one of the best flyweights in the world, so I think that says a lot."

Murphy, 33, and Mazany, 29, both said they don't know when their next fights will be. In the immediate aftermath of their victories, they had other things in mind.

"I'm going to find a big plate of hot wings and a big mug of beer somewhere," Mazany said.

Murphy said she's taking a vacation with her family.

"We're going to Thailand," she said, "and I'm going to go sit on the beach and sip out of a coconut."

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