UFC 230 Results: Sijara Eubanks Earns Decision Win Over Roxanne Modafferi Despite Weight Struggles

UFC 230 Roxanne Modafferi
Sijara Eubanks and Roxanne Modafferi ahead of UFC 230 Credit: Jason Burgos/Sherdog.com

While her rough weight cut may have led to a depleted gas tank as her fight with Roxanne Modafferi at UFC 230 wore on, Sijara Eubanks got the job done on Saturday night in New York.

If ever there was a fight with plenty of turmoil leading up to it, it was Sijara Eubank’s bout with Roxanne Modafferi at UFC 230. Not that there was any real animosity between the fighters themselves. Instead, it was Eubanks vs. UFC, and ultimately, Eubanks vs. herself, that was at the center of the drama heading into UFC 230.

For Eubanks, UFC 230 was supposed to have meant a title shot. She was ever-so-briefly linked to a fight with Valentina Shevchenko for the women’s flyweight title, in a potential main event. That would have made up for the Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale, from which Eubanks was pulled due to a weight cut gone south. Eubanks, a finalist, missed her shot at gold. Modafferi stepped in on barely a day’s notice, and came up short against Nicco Montano.

After not defending, and struggling with her own weight cut to the point she was pulled from UFC 228, Montano was stripped of the championship. The title sat vacant. The UFC toyed with ideas. First it was Shevchenko vs. Jonna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 231 for the gold. Then Shevchenko vs. Eubanks at UFC 230. When the UFC changed their mind and booked Daniel Cormier vs. Derrick Lewis as the headliner at MSG, Shevchenko and the title went back to UFC 231. And back to Jedrzejczyk. Sijara Eubanks was left out in the cold.

Eubanks railed against Dana White and the UFC. She railed against Joe Rogan, who let slip that he’d never heard of Eubanks. She railed and railed, yet when given a fight against Modafferi, which could potentially secure the winner a spot as the next title challenger at flyweight, Eubanks missed weight. Then responded with a shrug.

That put Eubanks in a precarious position at UFC 230. A loss would no doubt set her further back than it might have otherwise. However, she walked into the octagon on Saturday knowing she had it in her to beat Modafferi, having done so during TUF 26 a year ago.

As the bout got underway, Modafferi was on the outside, moving in-and-out as Eubanks displayed sharper striking. She employed some wide hooks to get around Modafferi’s defenses. Eubanks was able to catch Modafferi coming in, the scored a takedown with over three minutes to go in the opening round. Modafferi kept her in a closed guard. Then scrambled as Eubanks withdrew, only to go back down into her opponent’s guard again. Roxy would scramble back, throwing upkicks, but Eubanks made it back into her guard. The round would finish with Eubanks firing hammerfists, and Modafferi sill on her back.

In the second, Modafferi came across the octagon, going right to work. Eubanks pressed back, with more power behind her shots. Modafferi would land a couple of straight punches coming in, but was dropped by a head kick! She tangled up Eubanks as Sijara moved in to follow up, and soon escaped, pressing Eubanks into the cage. Eubanks would then try for a throw, only for Modafferi to land on top. She attempted to trap the arm, but Eubanks was able to free herself. Eubanks would attempt to work a kimura, but after a great grappling exchange, it was Modafferi finishing the round on top.

In the third, Modafferi managed to light Eubanks up for a moment. However, Eubanks fired back, and Modafferi went for a takedown attempt that was far too telegraphed. That allowed Eubanks to land a takedown of her own. Modafferi worked to reverse her, but despite several attempts, Eubanks stayed heavy on her. Modafferi would make it back up, but could not shift momentum, and Eubanks would cruise to a decision win.

After the fight,Sijara Eubanks spoke about her weight struggles, blaming them in part on being a female, and dismissing those booing her. However, Eubanks, despite a solid win against a spirited Modafferi, remains in a precarious position, given the inaugural champion in her division was stripped of the title for similar issues.

Sijara Eubanks def. Roxanne Modafferi by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)