When I covered the Invicta FC inaugural bantamweight championship, it was definitely an unsatisfying result. At the time, though, Murphy was a gracious champion offering Nakamoto a rematch, and Nakamoto even defended Murphy as champion, saying Murphy was the legitimate winner. It seemed like good sportsmanship all around. But then this interview of Murphy came out, and it sounded like Murphy was saying Nakamoto basically chickened out and quit the fight prematurely.
“Some people have said I don’t deserve that belt and that she should have won. I think that’s just silly, for a lot of reasons. Miriam asked for that fight to be stopped, not me. She fell and did not pull guard or try to fight off her back. She did not look for sweeps or armbars or anything…I was willing to fight Miriam on one leg. I would have crawled out to the 4th and 5th rounds if I had to, that’s how badly I wanted win. Some fighters would rather quit than take an ass beating. Me, I’d rather take an ass beating than ever quit. That’s why I am the champion.”
Needless to say, this has started quite a firestorm of online arguments between the camps and fans of the two fighters.
Personally, I do find Murphy’s words quite offensive and the complete opposite of sportsmanship. Granted, I am a Nakamoto fan, but I feel the video footage of the fight speaks for itself. Nakamoto was winning, and the fight only turned tides with the injury, and it was the referee who waved the fight and stopped it. The win was Murphy’s–injuries do happen–but to say that Nakamoto chickened out? That she quit? Wow, that’s just wrong. I wasn’t a huge fan of Murphy’s, but I actually think she is a great fighter and a nice person, so I wonder if all the questioning of her championship status and the yes-men who have been telling her she deserves the win to counter those who say she doesn’t have just gotten to her.
You can watch the edited version below and judge for yourself, but for those of you who are more scrupulous fans of MMA, the whole bout is also available on Invicta FC’s Youtube channel at time mark 2:53:00.