Make No Excuses: This is Tony Murphy

Make No Excuses: This is Tony Murphy

St. Petersburg, FL is widely known for its bad neighborhoods as well as its history and culture. Among those bad neighborhoods there are plenty of young kids who fall into bad lifestyles and are never able to rise above it. Then there are the few who do rise above it; then there are the fewer who find greatness. Tony Murphy is one who has found greatness and is grasping it tightly and choking the life out of it. While many people may make excuses for their lives, claiming their hard times are the reasons for their problems; Tony is the exact opposite. He would tell you how all of the stuff that he has been through has taught him valuable lessons and have set him up for greatness in his life. Tony has endured through the hardest times possible and come through them a better person.

Sports have always been a huge part of his life. He started playing football at a very young age and found his way to wrestling very early on. He achieved high levels of success in wrestling all through middle school and into high school, even being ranked 7th in the state and being named the Most Outstanding Athlete at Pinellas Park High School. His senior year in high school he put together a 49-6 record while never giving up a pin. He did all of this while not having a consistent place to live and having to work up to three jobs at a time just to get through high school and help himself survive. Again, you won’t hear him make any excuses. He found his way into underground fighting (which he will tell you was not the best decision and he does not condone it, it was what he had to do to survive) as a way to make money after he finished high school and this is where his entrance into MMA came from.

Tony’s reputation as a great street fighter began spreading through word of mouth. This word reached a man named Shane Dunn, who operates Team SPMF in St. Petersburg, and Dunn brought him in and Tony became a key member of the team. Tony’s presence in MMA became immediately felt when he became the first person to defeat a local great, David Mundell, and was the only person to do so for a long time. Altogether, Tony has put together a 6-6 amateur record while fighting as both a 170lb and 185lb fighter. He has never been afraid to fight someone. He has taken on some of the best fighters throughout the state as well as some from other states. Tony is a fighter in every definition of the word, never proving it more than when he was recently in Las Vegas to support his girlfriend, Cheyanne Vlismas, as she was getting ready to fight at Tuff-N-Uff. While at the weigh-ins, another fighter’s opponent had backed out and Tony stepped up on the spot to save the fight. He shows time and time again that he was born a fighter. He has fought his entire life to find greatness. Now that he has a glimpse of it, be sure that no one and nothing will stop him from grabbing hold of it and rising to the pinnacle of his dreams.

Tony is currently training and preparing for a return to Tuff-N-Uff where he is scheduled to face Brandon Schneider on 1/24/2014.



Tony would like to give special mention to his family, the Tague family, to Cheyanne Vlismas and her family, and to Team SPMF. All have been instrumental in helping Tony to become the man he is today. Through good and bad, they have all helped in shaping the man he is today.

Tony trains with Team SPMF, AOL MMA, UFC Gym Clearwater, and Robson Moura.

He has always looked up to “Iron” Mike Tyson, Randy “The Natural” Couture, and Frankie “The Answer” Edgar.

He has won two titles, both at 185lb for World Cage Warriors and AFC MMA.

“Be a man and fight back, no matter what.”

tony murphy

2 Responses

  1. Renee Ford
    I taught Tony algebra and geometry at Pinellas Park High and I saw greatness and a quick wit in him back then. It brings me joy to see him succeed in something he enjoys and excels in. Even though violence/fighting makes me quiver, I would enjoy seeing Tony fight. If you read this Tony- contact me and let me know how I can support you in the audience.Congratulations!!! Renee Ford Teacher at Pinellas Park High
  2. Ms. Ruberto
    Great job Tony! Many people would have given up, but you knew your potential and made something of yourself. Keep fighting in every way! I have many students who might be going through the same thing you did in your past, and don't see how things could get any better. Don't be afraid to spread your story of "no excuses" to other teenagers!Good luck on your future and keep working/fighting/training hard! Ms. Ruberto- PPHS

Leave a comment