UFC Head Honcho Dana White Addresses Booking Valentina Shevchenko vs. Sijara Eubanks For Vacant Flyweight Title
Yesterday news broke that the UFC has a new main headliner for the upcoming UFC 230 event. Former bantamweight title contender Valentina Shevchenko has been shifted from a previously booked showdown with former strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 231 to instead square off with Sijara Eubanks in the main event of UFC 230 at Madison Square Garden in New York City on Nov. 3.
After this news broke, Many fight fans and media members go nutty as they don’t even know who Eubanks is, and that includes UFC employees like Joe Rogan. Nate Diaz might not like this as him, and Dustin Poirier was lobbying for a 165-pound inaugural title fight for this card.
No problem Jedrzejczyk, who was supposed to make her flyweight debut at UFC 231 in Toronto, will get a chance to face the winner, considering she doesn’t move back to her weight class in the midst of this new.
UFC head honcho Dana White address the matter in a recent interview with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, why chose unheralded Eubanks.
“Because we moved it sooner, Joanna wasn’t ready for that fight,” UFC President Dana White said (H/T to Sherdog). “Valentina doesn’t care. This girl will fight tomorrow. She wants to fight every month.”
It was quite apparent from his face that White is happy with making this fight in the main event. He also makes sure it that Eubanks will be able to make weight and to the Octagon for this vacant flyweight title fight.
“Eubanks, if she’d have made weight, she’d have been the champion or at least fought for the championship,” he said. “And there’s no doubt Valentina is the baddest girl around at 125 right now. It was the fight to make. I’m just glad we could pull it off this soon. We made sure that Eubanks was on weight,” White said. “So Sijara is close to weight and Valentina is a beast and wanted this fight. It’s a fun fight.”
On being asked about why not making a 165-pound weight class to headline Poirier vs. Diaz, White shot down the idea and said it was never in consideration at all.
It’s all just talk,” White said. “First of all you make 165 pounds, you’re gonna start pulling people from the 170-pound division. Then you’re gonna see a lot of people from 170 and 155 that couldn’t win a title at 170 and 155 jumping to 165 to fight for a title there. It doesn’t make sense. We’ve always kept it simple…We have enough weight classes.”
Joanna Jedrzejczyk seems unimpressed with her replacement:
— Farah Hannoun (@Farah_Hannoun) October 2, 2018
Y’all salty!! pic.twitter.com/bgOtyQIS9m
— Sijara SarJ Eubanks (@SarJnCharge) October 2, 2018
Eubanks was slated to face Nicco Montano for the flyweight title at The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 26; however, Sijara failed weight cut and then fellow contestant Roxanne Modafferi took the spot instead.
Things got worse when Montano’s botched weight cutting led her withdrawal from her title defense against Shevchenko, shortly after UFC stripped her from the title.