UFC 254: Lauren Murphy vs. Liliya Shakirova Prediction
UFC debutant Liliya Shakirova takes on UFC veteran Lauren ‘Lucky’ Murphy this weekend at UFC 254. Murphy holds the experience advantage in this matchup both in terms of reach and height. Shakirova surrenders and inch in height and two inches in reach to Murphy.
Despite her UFC run getting off to a rocky start, Lauren Murphy has managed to bounce back and now finds herself on a 3-fight win streak heading into her bout against Shakirova. In those 3 fights, Murphy beat Mara Borella, Andrea Lee, and most recently, UFC veteran Roxanne Modafferi. Murphy’s fight against Liliya this Saturday will be her third UFC appearance of 2020, meaning that she’s had quite an active year.
‘Lucky’ was initially scheduled to face Cynthia Calvillo, but a positive COVID-19 test would force Calvillo to withdraw from the bout. Shakirova, 29, steps in on short notice to face Murphy.
The age advantage for Shakirova is probably the biggest factor on her side in this matchup, as she is 8-years younger than Murphy, who is 37. That said, Shakirova started her career just 3 years ago, and there’s little evidence pointing to her being ready for UFC competition at this point. Murphy is quite well-rounded, averaging 2 takedowns in her last 3 bouts and landing almost 4 significant strikes every minute. Shakirova has been out since October 2019 and Murphy has been the more active fighter, entering the octagon twice already this year.
I like Murphy in this matchup. She has the experience and size advantages which is why I see her winning this Saturday.
Prediction: Lauren Murphy via UD.