Weight cut forces fighter out of inaugural UFC title bout

Feb 23, 2013; Anaheim, CA, USA; Detailed view of the UFC championship belt of Ronda Rousey at the post fight press conference at the Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Sijara Eubanks will no longer have the opportunity of becoming the UFC’s inaugural women’s flyweight champion. Originally scheduled to face Nicco Montano Friday in Las Vegas, Eubanks was hospitalized Thursday as a result of a difficult weight cut. The title fight will still go on, with “Ultimate Fighter” semifinalist Roxanne Modafferi stepping in to face Montano on short notice.

This was not the first time Eubanks had publicly dealt with weight-cutting issues, with the scales proving to be a major roadblock for her during her time on the latest season of “TUF.” Required to make weight on three different occasions over the course of several weeks throughout the tournament, Eubanks was seen cutting off parts of her hair, as well as needing an additional hour in order to make the 126-pound limit. With Friday’s contest being scheduled for the 125-pound championship, Eubanks would not have been afforded the extra pound.

“I will be UFC champion, but it’s God’s will that it won’t be Friday night,” Eubanks wrote on Instagram. “I’m a gangster and I’ve cut more weight than most male fighters, and unfortunately there were some miscalculations this cut, no excuses, I worked my ass off and went out on my shield.

“I was hospitalized early this morning for kidney failure but best believe I’ma be right back training and right back after that belt. This game is full of ups and downs, true champs know that and bounce back. Nicco and Roxanne I’m sure will have a great fight, and best wishes to both those ladies. True class, those two. Nothing changes, I’m still the queen and I will claim my throne.”

Eubanks was ranked 12th in the field of 16 women, defeating No. 5 Maia Stevenson, No. 4 DeAnna Bennett and No. 1 Modafferi to reach the finale.

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