The one-time flyweight title contender was powerful on the feet as she battered Tate with punches over all three rounds while doing a ton of damage to secure the unanimous decision victory. The judges scored the fight 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28 as Murphy climbed back into the win column after a loss to Valentina Shevchenko in her last outing.
“I’ve dreamed about moments like this my whole career,” Murphy said afterward. “When I’m healthy and I’m focused, I’m a forced to be reckoned with in this division. I wasn’t ready to be the champion but experiences like this are what’s going to get me ready. It’s going to take more than one little ass whooping to keep me away from the championship.”
Murphy was aggressive from the start, landing several stinging punches and pressuring Tate around the cage while also mixing in takedown attempts. In return, Tate looked to slow the action working from the clinch as the flyweights were battling for position against the cage.
When they were exchanging strikes on the feet, Murphy seemed to be landing with more impact, including a stiff right hand at the start of the second round that busted open Tate’s nose. While Tate was able to fire back with some solid shots of her own, Murphy largely shrugged off her punches and even landed a well-timed takedown that resulted in more offense on the canvas.
Even when Tate connected with a nice elbow on the inside, Murphy was still cracking with more power, including a shot that saw significant swelling around the cheek on the former UFC champion which potentially signified a damaged orbital bone.
Murphy really began targeting that same area around the eye with her strikes as Tate’s fight kit became drenched in blood as time ticked away to the final horn.
It was obviously not the start Tate wanted to her flyweight career after she dropped down to 125 pounds for the first time on Saturday. As for Murphy, she picks up a signature win and now she’s hoping to get back into title contention in the near future.