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UFC contract winner Lauren Mueller on how failed 'TUF 26' bid helped her be ready for DWCS 8

LAS VEGAS – Lauren Mueller was only three fights into her professional MMA career when she took on a Dana White’s Contender Series 8 bout above her weight division.

The result of the meeting with Kelly Velasco (2-2) was a display dominant enough to earn her not only the unanimous nod, but a UFC contract. As earned as it was, though, is Mueller (4-0) at all concerned about her relative lack of experience as she prepares for the big stage?

“Absolutely not,” Mueller told MMAjunkie after the bantamweight scrap, which streamed live on UFC Fight Pass from The Ultimate Fighter Gym in Las Vegas. “I train with the best in the world out of Alliance. All my teammates push me hard every day, (and) my head coach, Eric Del Fierro. I felt confident, and I felt ready for this opportunity.”

Mueller has reasons to feel confident. While she’s yet to perform on the big stage, she’s surrounded by UFC names like former 135-pound title challenger Cat Zingano, as well as former 115-pound challenger Jessica Penne and former Invicta FC champ Angela Hill.

This wasn’t Mueller’s first stab at an octagon shot, though. The fighter, who actually competes at flyweight, took part in the tryouts for “The Ultimate Fighter 26” – which will determine the UFC’s inaugural women’s 125-pound titleholder.

Mueller, who’s had all her three (victorious) pro bouts for Gladiator Challenge, didn’t make it into the “TUF” house. But having impressed enough to make it far, she says it wasn’t entirely a lost experience.

“I tried out for ‘TUF’ and they made me an alternate, so that actually worked for my advantage,” Mueller said. “Because this whole time, the whole six weeks those girls were fighting for ‘TUF,’ I was still training in hopes to get on the show. So I was ready to go when I got the call for this.”

As for her UFC debut, Mueller is willing to step in whenever the promotion sees fit. And she’s not particularly concerned with who will be standing in the opposite corner when it happens.

“I’m able to go anywhere in a fight, so whatever they give me,” Mueller said. “I’m stoked.”

To hear more from Mueller, check out the video above.

And for more on DWCS 8, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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