Featured Image credit: Cody Stevens
The opportunity of a lifetime arises for Jesse Murray on Tuesday night, as he’s relieved at finally getting a shot at the big time. He faces Caio Borralho, who makes his second appearance in Dana White’s Contender Series this season after his victory over Aaron Jeffery.
Only three contracts were given out in week 7 and with only three weeks left, White could be looking to dish out some contracts. Murray will be looking to overcome probably the toughest test of his career as he’s ready to get his hand raised and earn that spot in the UFC.
Murray started his amateur career in 2013, and he quickly made the decision to turn professional after 13 months as an amateur. Four fights down the line, and his fifth was for a championship. A first-round rear-naked choke over Eddie Larrea saw him become King of the Cage Light Heavyweight champion.
He faced defeat at the hands of Jason Butcher, which resulted in him losing his belt. Murray showed his grit and determination by winning his belt back only three fights later.
Unfortunately in July, an injury forced out Murray in his scheduled title bout in LFA against Josh Silveira. Luckily for Murray, when he worked through his injuries, and the biggest opportunity of his career arose.
I had the pleasure of speaking to Murray ahead of his fight for a contract.
Jesse Murray Interview
So, Jesse, as fight night edges closer, how are you feeling right now?
Jesse Murray – I’m feeling great; my body has started to settle in and rest ahead of the fight.
You’ve been a professional for just over seven years. Is it sort of relieving to finally have an opportunity like this?
Jesse Murray – It is a huge relief to have this opportunity after being in the sport for more than 10 years. When you choose to go pro as a fighter, a shot like this is always the only real goal in mind.
Tell me about the moment you found out you were going to compete in the Contender Series?
Jesse Murray – The moment I heard of the opportunity I took it. No question of opponent or fight date. I just said yes.
You had a change of opponent, with Caio Borralho stepping in after his win in week 5. How do you adapt to an opponent change and was it running through your mind you weren’t going to get a replacement?
Jesse Murray – The opponent switch is frustrating when you work a strategy for a whole camp, but regardless the end result and goals of what needs to be done did not change.
You’re the former King of the Cage light heavyweight champion, how did it feel to become a belt owner? Did becoming a champion make you hungry for more?
Jesse Murray – I always pursue the title when I join a promotion. If I am going to put my effort into doing something, I always push to eventually be the best. That’s what titles represent.
We haven’t seen you in the cage in around 20 months, with your bout being canceled with Josh Silveira at LFA 110, has it been tough finding a fight since you last competed? And what’s training been like throughout the pandemic?
Jesse Murray – Fighting in the pandemic was difficult and scarce. I had a few injuries that occurred just due to constantly trying to be ready in case an opportunity arose.
Finally, do you have any predictions ahead of the fight, or shall we just keep our eyes peeled?
Jesse Murray –My only prediction is that is going to be an exciting match-up. I am ready to get my hand raised.