Lerone Murphy is either the luckiest or unluckiest man in the world, depending on how you look at it.
The UFC featherweight contender famously survived a shooting in 2013 in his native Manchester, England, which saw him struck by three bullets (a shard remains in Murphy’s tongue to this day); then, in May 2022, Murphy was involved in a cycling accident that left him hospitalized. At the time, he described it as “another near-death experience.”
“I’m lucky it happened where it happened because if it would have happened in a little dark street, for one the guy would have got off, he would have drove off; and two, nobody would have been there to help me and luckily someone came out of the house with a towel and stopped the bleeding and that’s what saved me,” Murphy said. “So yeah, it was bad, and the ambulance took 45 minutes to come. Me, I was just there, sat on the floor thinking, I’m done, I’m gone, and luckily I’m still here.”
According to Murphy, the accident was caused by a vehicle making a right turn and crashing into him. Though he claims no fault in what happened, Murphy has decided to play it safe by eschewing any future bike rides.
“I ride no bikes,” Murphy said. “I’m done. It’s too easy [to get into an accident], like you’re not in control of traffic. You’re on a bike, you’ve got no protection. Even if you’re wearing a helmet, it doesn’t matter.”
Murphy’s cautionary approach is understandable given that the 32-year-old’s fighting career has continued to thrive. Following a split draw against Zubaira Tukhugov in his UFC debut, Murphy has won five straight fights and holds an undefeated pro record at 13-0-1.
The injuries from his most recent accident prevented him from competing at the UFC’s second visit to London last year, an unfortunate turn of events given that he was also unable to compete at UFC 286 when scheduled opponent Nathaniel Wood withdrew due to a leg injury.
On a more positive note, Murphy feels he’s in good health now, a stark contrast to where he was physically and mentally 14 months ago.
“I’m back to normal now, but I did have post-concussion syndrome for a long time,” Murphy said. “That lasted a while. I was depressed for a good maybe six weeks. I was indoors and luckily I had good friends that come pick me up and took me out to go for walks and whatnot because it was a dark time.
“I was just having a conversation with my mom, I was saying, ‘This time last year it’s night and day to right now.’ Last year I was down and out almost. I brought myself back out. I’ve had two fights, I’m back on top. I feel like I’m on top of the world now.”