Lauren Murphy won’t be joining her Ultimate Fighter 26 castmates at this Friday’s finale.
The Invicta FC and UFC veteran was supposed to be making her flyweight debut at The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale in Las Vegas, Nev., but Murphy’s opponent was forced to withdraw due to VISA problems and there was not enough time to find a replacement.
Murphy explained the situation in a post on her Instagram account, which is private:
Hi everyone, I had a tough opponent for the TUF finale - an undefeated Brazilian prospect - and we were set to put on a show for you guys here in Vegas at the TUF finale. Unfortunately, there was a problem with her visa at the last minute. Luckily, the UFC decided to bring me to fight week and keep me as an alternate for the TUF card. I am really grateful to be here and so glad to see all my TUF housemates!! My fight with my original opponent will be postponed until early next year. In the mean time, I’m here, on weight, and ready to fight!
Thank you for all the love and support. I truly believe everything happens for a reason and I believe in my heart I am on the path meant for me, and wherever that path leads I am going to walk it to the best of my ability.
According to sources, Murphy’s opponent was supposed to be Rio de Janiero native Priscila Cachoeira, who has yet to lose in her first eight professional contests.
Murphy previously competed in the UFC’s bantamweight division, going 1-3 before joining the TUF 26 cast for a chance to become the promotion’s first women’s flyweight champion. Seeded No. 3 overall, Murphy was upset in the opening round by eventual finalist Nicco Montano. She was also shown feuding with coach Eddie Alvarez throughout the season.
Cachoeira’s team was hoping to have the fight rescheduled for the Dec. 9 UFC card in Fresno, Calif., but it appears that she will now face Murphy in early 2018.