On the aired episodes of The Ultimate Fighter 26, it seemed like the beef between Eddie Alvarez and Lauren Murphy began the day after Murphy lost her first-round fight.
Murphy, who was on Alvarez’s team on the show, didn’t come to the morning practice following her loss to Nicco Montaño. Alvarez chastised Murphy for that and for having a poor attitude in an episode that aired last month.
That, however, was not where the tensions began, Alvarez said Thursday on Sirius XM’s MMA Tonight. The former UFC lightweight champion said Murphy began “conspiring” against her teammates from early on in the competition, including telling a coach the team didn’t mind if Sijara Eubanks fought first because she was off weight and asking Alvarez for tips about beating teammate Barb Honchak.
“I understand you’re there for yourself, but you didn’t even fight anybody on the other team yet,” Alvarez said. “You didn’t even get past your first fight against Team Gaethje and you conspired two or three times already against the girls on our team that you’re gonna be in the gym with every day. So I'm like, man this girl is a little bit of a head case and she's kind of looking at everyone as her enemy. It just didn't make for a good attitude in the room or a good person to even have around. She was conspiring from the very beginning.”
Murphy told MMA Fighting on Friday that she never conspired against the team, nor Eubanks or Honchak. She said she wanted Eubanks to fight earlier on the show, because given her tough weight cut that would mean more rest in between the first fight and the quarterfinals. Murphy said she wasn’t asking Alvarez to help her beat Honchak, but asking him what would happen in training if they ended up fighting each other.
“As far as ‘conspiring’ against my own team, I don’t know where he comes up with this shit,” Murphy said. “I don’t think Eddie even knows what that word means. … Just because I ended up losing my fight, doesn’t mean there weren’t going to be other people on the team fighting each other. It was Eddie’s job as a coach to figure out how he would handle that situation when it came up. Eddie just assumed I was being an asshole, because he’s an asshole, and that’s the way he thinks.”
Alvarez, who fights Gaethje at UFC 218 on Dec. 2 in Detroit, said Murphy should have been looking to absorb as much as she could from the coaches on the show, rather than thinking of potential fights in the future.
“I’m not tooting my own horn, but if you have 10 fights you’re still a baby,” Alvarez said. “You’re still kind of a baby — girl, guy, whoever you are. When you get a chance to be coached by Mark Henry, Marlon Moraes, and some of these guys who have just been through it, you should be nothing but appreciative. You should bow your head when they enter the room. You shouldn't have a know-it-all attitude.”
Murphy said Alvarez expecting her to bow her head to men she had never met until the show “makes him sound like a stupid asshole.”
“I work with Benson Henderson every single day, and he has never suggested that anybody should bow their heads to him, or to John Crouch, and Benson was a far more dominant champion then Eddie ever was,” Murphy said. “That’s what I mean when I said Eddie treated us like we were all a bunch of amateurs.”
The show continues to air every Wednesday on FS1 until the Dec. 1 TUF 26 Finale, which will crown the first UFC women’s flyweight champion. Alvarez wanted to make it clear that Murphy not showing up to the gym the morning after her loss isn’t what set him off. It was how Murphy acted overall, he said.
“That was my issue with that girl,” Alvarez said. “I didn’t care — it was better if she didn’t come to practice. She had a shitty attitude.”