“Listen, [Sijara] Eubanks, if she had made weight [for The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale vs Nicco Montano] she’d have been the champion or at least fought for the championship. And there’s no doubt that Valentina [Shevchenko] is the baddest girl around at 125 [pounds] right now so it was the fight to make so that we could pull it off this soon.
As we moved it sooner (the fight for Shevchenko) Joanna [Jedrzejczyk] wasn’t ready. Joanna wasn’t ready for that fight. Valentina doesn’t care, this girl will fight tomorrow. She’s one of those, ya know. If we called her tomorrow she wants to fight every month so she absolutely made sense and we made sure that Eubanks was on weight so… Sijara is close to weight and Valentina’s a beast and wanted this fight and it’s a fun fight.
We never…well I shouldn’t say never, maybe a couple times in the history…the main event has not been a title fight.”
Today the MMA world finally got the answer to what will be UFC 230 in Madison Square Garden‘s big main event…and it wasn’t what anyone expected.
Announced for the event’s headliner was the vacant flyweight title bout between former bantamweight title challenger Valentina Shevchenko and No. 4 ranked contender Sijara Eubanks.
Just a few weeks ago, it was announced that the flyweight title bout featuring Shevchenko would be pitting her against former strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 231 in December.
A finalist on season 26 of The Ultimate Fighter, Eubanks was set to take on Jessica Eye at UFC 232 but has now gotten the title shot that she missed out on.
Eubanks was to face the eventual inaugural UFC champion at 125-pounds, Nicco Montano in the TUF 26 finale for the title but due to complications with her weight cut, she was hospitalized and obviously forced out of the bout. Since then Eubanks has defeated former Invicta FC bantamweight champion and the then No. 3 ranked contender Lauren Murphy and made weight in the process.
As for what will be next for Jedrzejczyk after losing out on her opportunity at a second divisional title, UFC president Dana White continued on and stated that she’ll get her shot if she wants it after this fight on November 3.
“It’ll be up to her. We’ll see what Joanna wants to do. Obviously, I have a great relationship with her. She’s a beast too. Been a long time world champion for us and if she wants to do that we’ll do it.”
In UFC 230’s co-main event, Dustin Poirier will be welcoming back the always entertaining Nate Diaz after two years away from the Octagon. Many believe that due to the UFC’s struggles to find the main event that they should have just bumped this one up to the five-round slot.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 10/2/2018