Valentina Shevchenko may finally get her shot at the UFC women’s flyweight title, as she’ll reportedly face Sijara Eubanks for the vacant 125lb belt in the UFC 230 main event.
Forget that idea about Nate Diaz taking on Dustin Poirier at 165lbs for a new UFC title. UFC 230 appears to have a main event, and it doesn’t involve a Diaz brother at all. Instead, per a report by ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, it looks like Valentina Shevchenko will face Sijara Eubanks for the vacant women’s flyweight championship. If we’re hedging our bets just a little, that’s because Okamoto later clarified that despite UFC President Dana White claiming the fight is a done deal, it appears one of the fighters has yet to officially sign on for the bout.
Yikes. UFC 230 is just five weeks away, taking place in November at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Historically, the UFC has stacked their New York City cards, but with Conor McGregor fighting at UFC 229 in Las Vegas and few other options available, the MSG show this year was coming down to the wire.
Assuming the fight is in fact a done deal, it will be Eubanks’ second crack at fighting for the title. She was forced to withdraw due to a weight cut gone bad prior to The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale last December. Instead, Roxanne Modafferi stepped in to fight Nico Montano, who won the title in a five round decision. Montano, however, would never defend the belt, blowing her own weight cut prior to UFC 228. The UFC then stripped her of the title.
Eubanks (5-2) defeated Lauren Murphy at UFC Utica in June. It was her first fight back since being hospitalized prior to the TUF 26 Finale. She’s something of a surprise pick, given Joanna Jedrzejczyk had been rumored to face Valentina Shevchenko for the vacant championship.
On Shevchenko’s side, she might finally get to fight for the 125lb title, after pursuing a bout with Montano for months only to have it fall through. Shevchenko (15-3) challenged Amanda Nunes for the bantamweight title just over a year ago at UFC 215, only to come up short in a split decision loss. She then dropped to flyweight, pummeling Priscila Cachoeira last February in her debut in the weight class.
UFC 230 takes place November 3, 2018 at Madison Square Garden in New York, New York.