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“We’ve actually known for a while that I should probably be at flyweight,” she said. “So when they announced that they were opening up the division and I found out that it was going to be on The Ultimate Fighter – which I always wanted to do – and it was going to be for the belt, I was skipping around the gym and singing and talking to people because I was so excited.”

Singing and skipping certainly constitutes excited, but there were some hurdles to deal with as she was forced to be away from her husband and son for six weeks in Las Vegas.

“Leaving the family was hard, it was harder than I thought it would be,” she said. “I’m really close to my husband, we say we’re like an old pair of shoes – we just go together – and I thought I’m gonna basically go do a fight camp, no big deal. It was a big deal. I really struggled with not having my family with me. My son and my husband are the most important things in my life and I missed them even more than I thought I would – by a lot.”

Murphy has come back from rougher circumstances, though, and while her past battles with addiction have been well documented, she has no problem telling her story again for viewers of TUF.

“Being sober now, part of my purpose is to let people know that there’s hope, and it comes in all different forms,” Murphy said. “If somebody’s watching and they’re struggling with drugs and alcohol or maybe they have a loved one who is or maybe they’re just having a bad day in their sobriety, if it brings them a little bit of hope, that’s my purpose now. So I really don’t mind sharing my story. It was difficult to get sober, it really was, and I had a lot of help.”

But that’s the past. So is her 1-3 UFC record. It’s all about the next fight now, and Lauren Murphy can’t wait for it. 

“Those days are behind me, those fights are behind me and I’m gonna win my next one, either with a finish or it’s going to be so decisive that the judges won’t have a question in their mind,” she said. “That’s how much better I’ve gotten.”

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