For the UFC’s upcoming Mexico City card, the preliminary card will feature Sijara Eubanks going against a former bantamweight title contender, Bethe Correia. Eubanks, the Invicta FC veteran, will try to earn a significant victory over a woman who was once unbeaten in the only women’s weight class the UFC had for a small period. For Correia, this will be a matter of trying to keep herself alive in the organization.
A post shared by Bethe (@bethecorreia) on Aug 21, 2019 at 7:06am PDT
Bethe Correia was part of the first wave of women to ever fight in the UFC. She made a name for herself by defeating women’s MMA pioneer Julie Kedzie. From there Correia went on to beat Jessamyn Duke and Shayna Baszler; two members of the self-proclaimed “Four Horsewomen of MMA.” According to a 2014 article from Bleacher Report by Nathan McCarter, this group included Duke, Baszler, Marina Sharif and MMA super-star and then-champion Ronda Rousey.
Correia made it known that she wanted to target her opposing contenders and wanted the title shot after her fight with Baszler. Going into her title fight against Ronda Rousey, Correia was 9-0, but that changed after she was knocked out within 34 seconds of the first round.
Uauuu 🥵 2 anos sem lutar e voltei! Confesso que sentir uma adrenalina como na primeira luta que fiz pelo #ufc Aprendi mais do que imaginava!!! E que tudo isso me fortaleça 🙌🏼 Obrigada a todos que curtiram assistir minha volta 👊🏼💥 #betheeffect Agradecimento mais que especial: @cozinatal @exuberanccern @mmamasters_hikari @janeidecabeleireiras @samishefu @apiceacademia @edelsonboxe @marionovaes19 @jrpretomma @tntkombatmuaythaiandmma @suzanacorreianeves @wallidjfc @checkmatrn @joseisraelmma @kleversoncardozo @deancheckmat @pegado_bruno #familiacorreia
A post shared by Bethe (@bethecorreia) on May 16, 2019 at 12:07pm PDT
Since Correia’s loss to Rousey, she has gone 1-3-1 in the past four years. Those losses include a head kick KO from Holly Holm and a submission loss to Irene Aldana in which Correia missed weight. Whether it’s the case of the sport surpassing her or skill development, Correia’s draw has gone from a title contender to that of an undercard fighter on a two-fight losing streak.
For Sijara “Sarj” Eubanks, it’s a matter of climbing the rankings to get where she deserves. She began her UFC career with her appearance on the Ultimate Fighter: A New World Champion. With a 2-2 pro record according to Tapology, Eubanks was ranked #12 going into the Ultimate Fighter.
A post shared by Sijara "SarJ" Eubanks (@sarjncharge) on Aug 22, 2019 at 8:18am PDT
She made an impression by winning her first two matches. Eddie Alvarez described her first victory as a “Hail Mary kick” to the head of Deanna Bennet and followed that with a submission over Maia Stevenson.
In her final bout of the season, she defeated Roxanne Modafferi via decision.
Being overlooked seemed to bleed into Eubanks her actual UFC career. At one point in time, “screaming” at Dana White over the phone when matchmakers withdrew her from a potential fight with Valentina Shevchenko when she spoke with ESPN through Ariel Helwani.
Currently, “Sarj” is ranked #14 in the bantamweight division while Bethe Correia is ranked #15 according to UFC official rankings.
A post shared by Bethe (@bethecorreia) on Sep 20, 2019 at 11:18am PDT
Eubanks is coming off of a loss against Aspen Ladd and hopes to defeat Correia to get back in the win column. Eubanks has very clean kicks but doesn’t seem as refined when it comes to fighting with her hands. Correia is very good at using the cage to her advantage and excels with moving in and out with attacks but can lack in following up with her strikes. What may be the difference is the submission skill of Eubanks with her black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
For Correia, this might be a critical fight that could determine if she stays with the promotion. It will also be a chance to remind the fight world of the woman who once posed a threat to one of the most dominant champions in UFC history. ■
The preliminary card for UFC on ESPN+ 17 will be aired on September 21st at 4 P.M. CT. For more content, news, opinions, and articles like this, please check out unknownmma.com and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.