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UFC Fight Night 47 card: Sara McMann vs Lauren Murphy fight preview

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After getting starched by Ronda Rousey earlier this year, Sara McMann will look to rebound against debuting knockout striker Lauren Murphy at this Saturday night’s (August 16, 2014) UFC Fight Night 47 from Bangor, Maine. With the stakes high, how can each competitor pick a big win on the East Coast? Read our fight preview to find out! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women’s bantamweights Sara McMann and Lauren Murphy will go to war at UFC Fight Night 47 this Saturday night (August 16, 2014), airing live on FOX Sports 1 at 10 p.m. ET from Cross Insurance Center in Bangor, Maine. No. 4-ranked McMann most recently suffered the first loss of her mixed martial arts (MMA) career, a vicious 76-second technical knockout at the hands of dominant champion Ronda Rousey in the main event of February’s UFC 170. After only one fight in UFC, Olympic silver medalist wrestler McMann was fast-tracked to a title shot that she just wasn’t ready for. Still one of the most dangerous women in UFC, McMann looks to rebound against the first-ever Invicta FC women’s bantamweight champion Murphy. Undefeated Murphy picked up the gold in her last fight at Invicta FC 7, winning by default when Miriam Nakamoto injured her knee and couldn’t continue. Despite that anticlimactic finish, Murphy is ready to prove herself in the Octagon. She’s been thrown to the wolves against McMann, giving fans an interesting striker vs. grappler match-up in Maine. Let’s take a look at the keys to victory: Sara McMann Record: 7-1 overall, 1-1 UFC Key Wins: Sheila Gaff (UFC 159), Shayna Baszler (Invicta FC 2) Key Losses: Ronda Rousey (UFC 170) Keys to Victory: With two submission wins, two knockouts, and three decisions on her record, McMann is a well-rounded combatant who relies mainly on her world-class mat skills to get the job done inside the cage. With a long list of awards and accolades, McMann may be the finest pure wrestler in women’s MMA. Against a dangerous striker like Murphy, there’s simply no reason for her to risk losing by engaging in a stand-up war. McMann absorbed her first-ever defeat by strikes earlier this year, and her competitive nature will have her motivated to bounce back strong. She’s going to close the distance quickly to shoot for several takedowns, grinding Murphy up against the cage to nullify her thunderous power. A heavy dose of clinch work will tip the scales heavily in McMann’s favor. If and when McMann gets the fight to the ground, she’ll soften up Murphy with a torrent of ground shots while looking for a potential submission. Murphy has never tapped out, so McMann has her work cut out for her here. McMann’s many years of top-level competition will keep her focused on the task at hand. She knows that dragging this fight to the canvas is her best path to victory, so she has to impose her will to stop Murphy from finding her rhythm. Lauren Murphy Record: 8-0 overall, 0-0 UFC Key Wins: Miriam Nakamoto (Invicta FC 7), Sara D’Alelio (Invicta FC 6), Kaitlin Young (Invicta FC 5) Key Losses: None Keys to Victory: With six knockout victories (one due to injury) in eight total fights, it’s safe to say that Murphy is one of the more lethal strikers in the women’s bantamweight division. She brings an arsenal of boxing expertise to the Octagon, and there’s no doubt that she wants to keep this fight standing at all costs. Despite having some training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Murphy has never relied on her ground game to win fights. Going to the mat with a world-renowned grappler like McMann could easily spell defeat, so it’s on Murphy to keep her opponent’s takedowns at bay with accurate combinations. McMann is a tough competitor who won’t go down easy, but we just saw that she could be finished by strikes, albeit by a transcendent force in Rousey. If Murphy can disrupt McMann’s forward movement with her striking game, she’ll swing the momentum in her favor. McMann should fight noticeably different when she’s not the one not applying the pressure. Murphy will be making her debut in the world’s largest MMA promotion in Bangor, so she has to corral her emotions and let the lights of the grand stage motivate her rather than hinder her. Given her undefeated record and recent performances, that seems like a likely outcome this weekend. Even if she comes mentally prepared, however, she’ll still have to stop one of the most talented female wrestlers on the planet. Bottom Line from Bangor: The bottom line for this fight is that it is an absolutely pivotal one for the career paths off both women. McMann has to prove that she still deserves her lofty rankings spot. A loss to Murphy would put her UFC record at 1-2, not exactly the resume of a future title challenger. McMann needs to prove her somewhat one-dimensional game has evolved if she wants to compete with the best, but this isn’t necessarily the fight in which to do it. Murphy is obviously loves to knock out opponents, meaning that McMann’s wrestling will be fully showcased at Cross Insurance Center. If her takedowns somehow get stuffed repeatedly, we could have the makings of a momentous upset on our hands. A win by Murphy would instantly supplant her on a short list of potential contenders for Rousey’s belt, although she would likely have to wait her turn with several big names lining up for a purported shot at Rowdy. Regardless, she has a golden opportunity against one of the best in McMann, making this the biggest fight of her life. McMann, on the other hand, has a ton more experience in handling the pressure of combat. It’s an age-old adage that has become cliché in MMA, but it holds true here. A boxing match will favor Murphy, while a grappling match exponentially favors McMann. Which one do you think will unfold this Saturday night? Sara McMann looks to bounce back by welcoming dangerous newcomer Lauren Murphy to UFC in Bangor. Will the Olympic medalist grind out another victory, or can Murphy explode into UFC with a win over a top-ranked opponent? Poll Will Sara McMann spoil Lauren Murphy’s Octagon debut in Maine? McMann knocks out Murphy McMann submits Murphy McMann wins a decision Murphy knocks out McMann Murphy submits McMann Murphy wins a decision   43 votes | Results

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