The 26th season of The Ultimate Fighter has seen one of the most explosive disagreements between a fighter and their coach in this history of the show as Lauren Murphy felt she was delt a bad hand by being landed on Eddie Alvarez's team.
The fact that the winner of the latest season will also be named a UFC champion means that everything matters that little bit more, and when Murphy lost in the first round to Nicco Montaño, she did not handle the setback well.
Murphy decided to miss the early training session with her team the next day so that should could use the time alone to process what happened before returning for the second session, where she was met by an unimpressed coach in Eddie Alvarez.
The former UFC lightweight champion expressed his disappointment with Murphy, claiming that she let the team down by not showing up, which provoked a passionate response from the women’s flyweight contender.
Eddie met me super recently. He doesn’t know anything about me. I’m doing my best here and if I need two hours to process the fact that I just blew my shot at the UFC title, like give me two fucking hours by myself to cry it out and fucking think about it and miss my husband and miss my kid and figure out how I’m gonna explain to them that I fucking blew it without somebody like correcting my boxing technique. For two fucking hours. I don’t think that’s asking so much, I don’t think that’s an unreasonable request the day after I just fought my fucking ass off in the cage.
So don’t fucking get on my ass or send out a bunch of bad energy because I didn’t go out to the gym this fucking morning when you wanted me to. Like, I should be there immediately. I felt like I got hit by a fucking bus this morning. Fuck.
I was definitely really resentful about it and I was really very envious of the girls on Team Gaethje, because they were allowed to have rest days whenever they wanted, they were having a lot of fun on their team,” Murphy said. “It seemed that their coaches really treated them with a lot of respect and I felt like I was getting the shitty end of that deal, having Eddie as a coach.
On the show, Alvarez gave a piece-to-camera outlining why he was upset with Murphy, and why he came down hard on her despite her loss the night before.
My job as a coach is to keep the morale of the team up. Regardless of what goes on, I tell these girls all the time, I don’t care what happens. I care how we react to them. If you have a terrible reaction to a loss or what goes on, you start bringing down the spirit and the morale of the whole team. It’s kind of a selfish thing to do considering there’s eight girls around you depending on you.
And once again, this did not go down well. Speaking to MMAFighting.com on Wednesday night after the show had aired, Murphy admitted resenting the women on Justin Gaethje's team as he made the experience fun for his fighters, and that this was the start of a fued between her and her coach on the show.
Murphy also revealed that she had told Alvarez after her original interview that she had vented her frustrations to the TV crew, which prompted her coach to give his side of the story, but as he did not inform her that he had done so, she accused him of acting in a cowardly manner:
I was blown away. I was like, he fucking said that shit about me? I can’t believe it. That’s crazy to me. I’m the one bringing down morale? Mother fucker, you’re the one talking shit about me to the rest of the team. I’m quietly sitting at home taking a rest day and you’re talking shit about members of our own team. Who’s really bringing down the morale here? Or to say that those girls depend on me? Depend on me for what? I’m not their coach. You’re their fucking coach. They’re depending on you.
I guess part of me feels like it’s cowardly for him to say that to the camera and not be able to say it to my face, because he’s definitely never talked to me like that when the show was filming.
This must be up there with the ugliest breakdowns in relationship between a coach and a fighter in the history of the show, and it seems as though the situation is only going to worsen in the coming weeks.