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Lerone Murphy praises Edson Barboza, hopes for Manchester

LAS VEGAS – It’s all full circle for Lerone Murphy.

The final time he was in Las Vegas was in 2015, not as a fighter however as a fan. Rather a lot has modified since Murphy (13-0-1 MMA, 5-0-1 UFC) attended UFC 189, a consensus all-time card headlined by Conor McGregor vs. Chad Mendes.

At the moment, Murphy was an beginner, undefeated at 3-0. The goose egg within the loss column was maintained by way of another beginner battle and 14 skilled bouts.

The success has led him to his first promotional foremost occasion on Saturday at UFC Struggle Night time 241. The cardboard streams on ESPN+.

“It’s large,” Murphy instructed MMA Junkie and different reporters Wednesday at a pre-fight information convention. I visited Las Vegas in 2016 to observe McGregor and Mendes, and since then, I’ve all the time thought it is a place I have to battle. That is the battle capital. Now, we’re right here. … My ideas (once I heard of this matchup) have been, ‘Wow. That is my alternative. That is my breakthrough. That is my time to shine now.’”

Murphy has a widely known and formidable opponent for his first five-round conflict. He battles the always-exciting Edson Barboza (24-11 MMA, 18-11 UFC), a person he respects drastically.

“Not likely the side of being foremost occasion, that’s probably not it,” Murphy mentioned. “Who I’m combating is extra so the large factor. I’m combating Edson Barboza, a legend of the game, a harmful fighter. That’s what excited me, yeah. … (A win) places me up there, solidifies my title, places me among the many elite of the elite. It provides me a shot at that high 10 afterward.”

Ten weeks after UFC Struggle Night time 241, the promotion touches down in Manchester, England for the primary time since October 2016. The timing is definitely not best, however Murphy hopes the celebrities align the place he leaves Saturday’s bout unscathed sufficient to compete in his dwelling metropolis.

“In fact, I need to be on that card,” Murphy mentioned. “It’s a Manchester card. I’m a Mancunian. I say, once more, I’m the one Mancunian on the roster ever, born and bred. So it’d solely be proper for me to be on there. However I believe it’s six weeks away. Clearly, I’m in a five-round battle. I don’t count on on there. But when we are able to get by way of this battle unscathed and with a win, then I’ll undoubtedly be asking the matchmaker to place me on.”

For extra on the cardboard, go to MMA Junkie’s occasion hub for UFC Struggle Night time 241.

Make sure to go to the MMA Junkie Instagram web page and YouTube channel to debate this and extra content material with followers of blended martial arts.

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