McMann went straight for a single leg takedown and landed it with a nice trip to start the fight. Murphy, however, was pretty crafty and effective from her guard in the first couple of minutes from her back. She tied up McMann and limited the damage Sara could inflict but McMann was still controlling the position and landing some elbows and punches. Toward the end of the round McMann postured up and landed some big shots from the top to clearly put a stamp on the round.
Round two opened with more striking from the feet but a minute in McMann clinched and cinched a tight bear-hug to take Murphy back down to the mat. From there she again controlled the position and landed a strike here and there. McMann’s grappling and control was clearly too seasoned and strong for Murphy to handle through the first two rounds. Late in the round the referee made the two fighters stand but McMann again went to the clinch and took Murphy back down to her comfort zone. Murphy was trying to throw elbows from the bottom but McMann ended the 2nd round in side control and easily scored another round to her name.
Murphy started the third round off in her favor by landing some nice punches. McMann answered with several leg kicks and then shot in on another single-leg, but Murphy defended and kept the fight standing. That didn’t last, however, as McMann scored another takedown with her next shot moments later. Murphy didn’t stay on her back and scrambled back to her feet. Murphy landed some hard elbows as McMann was in on another single-leg attempt. McMann continued to work for the takedown and Murphy was finally able to escape with short time left. The horn sounded and and the judges scratched up their decision:
Sara McMann def. Lauren Murphy via Split Decision