Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White has some explaining to do after booking Valentina Shevchenko vs. Sijara Eubanks flyweight title fight for the UFC 230 pay-per-view (PPV) main event, which takes place Sat., Nov. 3, 2018 inside Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Not only because the fight features Eubanks, a relatively unknown combatant with a pro record of 3-2, but also because it cancels the previously scheduled showdown between Shevchenko and former strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk, who were expected to collide at UFC 231 in Toronto.
“As we moved it sooner, Joanna wasn’t ready,” White told ESPN. “Joanna wasn’t ready for that fight. Listen, Eubanks, if she had made weight, she’d have been champion or at least fight for the championship. It was the fight to make so that we could pull it off so soon.”
Jedrzejczyk was clearly unimpressed with her replacement.
The majority of mixed martial arts (MMA) fans were perturbed that UFC didn't capitalize on the opportunity to promote Nate Diaz vs. Dustin Poirier, already booked for UFC 230, into the main event slot, especially after both combatants were calling for a new division (and new championship title).
White already shot down that “nutty as hell” idea right here.
Eubanks was supposed to fight Nicco Montano for the flyweight title at the conclusion of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 26; however, “Sarj” botched her weight cut and was replaced by fellow contestant Roxanne Modafferi.
And to complicate matters, Montano ran into her own weight-cutting problems and was recently stripped of the title, though it still doesn’t explain how the promotion ended up a month out from one of its biggest markets — previously headlined by the likes of Conor McGregor and Georges St-Pierre — without a main event.
I guess we always have this fight to fall back on AMIRITE?!?