UFC Fight Night 63 Fight Breakdown: Liz Carmouche vs. Lauren Murphy

Liz Carmouche One of the prelims at UFC Fight Night 63 is a three-round women’s bantamweight bout between Liz Carmouche and Lauren Murphy. According to the current betting lines available at Several Bookmakers, Carmouche is a -115 favorite (bet $115 to win $100) while Murphy is a -105 underdog (bet $105 to win $100). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened up Carmouche at -155 and Murphy at +115, and so far most of the action has come in on the dog Murphy. I disagree with the line movement as I feel the opening odds on Carmouche were correct and I feel like the money is coming in on the wrong fighter. Here’s why. Carmouche (9-5) is 1-3 in the UFC with a TKO win over Jessica Andrade and decision losses to Alexis Davis and Miesha Tate and a submission loss to Ronda Rousey. The 31-year-old American’s UFC record doesn’t look good at first glance, but her level of competition has been extremely high, and most thought she beat Tate as well. Carmouche is a talented fighter, especially on the ground, and she is a finisher. She has eight stoppage wins including six by T/KO and two by submission and is dangerous anytime the fight hits the mat. She has good ground and pound and she also has really good submissions. Her striking, however, is quite bad, so she has to take her fights to the ground in order to win. That’s definitely scary against the upper-level fighters, but against mid- and lower-tier fighters she should be OK. Carmouche is still a top 10 women’s bantamweight in my books, and a win over Murphy would put her right back into title contention. Murphy (8-1) is 0-1 in the UFC with a split decision loss to Sara McMann. The 31-year-old American is a very solid grinder who chooses to take her opponents down to the mat and push them up against the fence in order to grind out wins. Her wrestling is solid, she has some good ground and pound, and she has a very high workrate anywhere the fight goes. Her striking is not good, but she does move pretty well on the feet and is pretty game. Murphy is a hard worker and her hard work will pay dividends when she fights lower-ranked women’s bantamweights, but against elite fighters she just doesn’t seem to be able to match her opponents’ skillsets, and that’s why you see her enter this fight against Carmouche as a slight dog. I’m expecting a close, competitive fight here, but ultimately I do think Carmouche will get her hand raised. I believe her experience fighting the best fighters in the UFC women’s bantamweight division is really going to help her here. She is a very intelligent fighter and I think she is going to be able to have more success with her grappling than her opponent and win a decision at the end of 15 minutes. I think Carmouche can get some top control, get the back at times, and generally control Murphy on the mat and win the fight. At -115, I do see value in Carmouche for a straight play.

Written by Adam Martin.

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