Lerone Murphy was able to best the tricky Joshua Culibao today at UFC: London with his striking and wrestling to claim a unanimous decision victory.
Oblique kick from Murphy to start. Culibao throws one of his own and then a missed head kick.
calf kick from Murphy. Murphy tries a spinning kick to the body and not only misses but stumbles awkwardly too. He rights himself and Culibao presses forward with a flurry of punches.
Murphy able to clinch up against the cage now. He’s looking for a takedown but gives up on a single-leg and Culibao gets away soon afterwards.
Short hooks inside from Culibao. Low kick from Murphy. Body kick from Culibao. Missed head kick from Murphy. Missed leg kick from Culibao and Murphy whiffs on another high kick.
Punch from Culibao but Murphy lands a heavy counter in return. Missed one-two from Culibao and a body punch in response from Murphy, who then clinches up and moves him to the cage. He lands an elbow as he opts to back out.
Leg kick from Culibao. Head kick attempt from Murphy misses, but then unleashes a nice three-piece combo upstairs and then transitions to a takedown attempt. Culibao defending well, but with his back turned Murphy fires off a few more hard punches before the round ends.
Head kick attempt from Culibao and Murphy responding with a punch. Culibao trying to clinch up and go for a takedown now. They jockey for position against the cage and it’s Culibao who maintains the dominant clinch position and then looks to throw Murphy to the mat. Murphy has a whizzer though and uses that to get straight back up.
Now Murphy starts to fire off some strikes, but Culibao unleashes too. Low kick from Murphy is checked. Culibao attempts a head kick that’s blocked.
Murphy lands several big punches to the head in a row. Now he clinches up, gets the back and drags Culibao to the mat close to the cage. Murphy gets one hook in and then gradually moves to a spot where he can gets the other in with his back against the cage now.
A minute of the round remaining and they seem to be talking to each other for a moment. Soon after Murphy goes for the rear-naked choke, but Culibao defends it. Murphy lands a couple of elbows to the head and then rides out the remaining seconds maintaining this dominant position.
Nice double-jab from Culibao. Head kick attempt from Murphy. Grazing punch from Culibao and an overhand in return from Murphy.
body kicks exchanged. Murphy ducks in for a takedown attempt, but Culibao does nice to escape and press Murphy into the cage while working for his own takedown.
Murphy with some elbow strikes to the head and then is able to get away.
Murphy with a body kick to the liver that only appears to graze the target, but a moment later Culibao goes down. Murphy is on him looking for a finish. Culibao defending though. Murphy trying to posture up but is taking his time. Murphy looking to improve his position and then opts to threaten with a d’arce choke. It looks threatening for a moment, but Culibao defends it and Murphy gives up on the attempt.
Murphy sets up the d’arce for a second time and again Culibao defends it well. Culibao stands and Murphy drags him down to his knees. Culibao stands again. Murphy with a trip takedown to get him to the mat once more. Murphy in half-guard and tries to step into mount, but is unable to. Culibao trying to stand as the round ends.
Good fight from Murphy here, putting together his strikes well and blending in his wrestling smoothly too, leading to a convincing unanimous decision victory (30-26 x2, 30-27).