Usually a star-driven card, UFC’s coming New York show topped by widely unknown challenger
From Conor McGregor and Georges St-Pierre to Sijara Eubanks?
UFC President Dana White provided a thorough letdown Tuesday by telling ESPN that the main event of the always anticipated UFC November card at Madison Square Garden will be for the vacant women’s flyweight title between former bantamweight title challenger Valentina Shevchenko and Eubanks, a former participant on “The Ultimate Fighter.”
On a card that includes an anticipated lightweight meeting between Nate Diaz and Dustin Poirier and a rematch between former middleweight champions Chris Weidman and Luke Rockhold, Shevchenko-Eubanks ranks a distant third in drawing power.
White said he wanted a title fight atop the card, and while an originally scheduled Dec. 8 showdown in Toronto between Shevchenko and former straw-weight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk was planned, that bout couldn’t be moved back a month because Jedrzejczyk “wasn’t ready.”
Jedrzejczyk later posted on social media that she was angry and sad at the UFC decision, admitting that she couldn’t be in “proper form” to take on Shevchenko in November after previously fighting her in Muay Thai action.
It causes a stunning drop in fight quality at MSG, which featured McGregor’s second-round knockout of Eddie Alvarez two years ago atop three title fights, and a return triple-title-fight card last year when St-Pierre returned from a four-year absence to defeat middleweight champion Michael Bisping.
Eubanks is 5-2 in pro mixed martial arts and 1-0 in the UFC, and many around the sport had barely heard her name before the news broke.
Shevchenko was supposed to fight flyweight champion Nicco Montano on Sept. 8 in Dallas, but Montano pulled out of the fight before the weigh-in, and the UFC stripped “the Ultimate Fighter” winner of her belt.
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