Joe Rogan beef squashed, Sijara Eubanks focuses on future while explaining latest weight miss

NEW YORK – Sijara Eubanks(4-2 MMA, 2-0 UFC) knows her latest weight miss may cost her a title shot for now, but believes she’s still on the right track after her UFC 230 win over Roxanne Modafferi (22-15 MMA, 1-3 UFC).

And at the very least, she knows for a fact that Joe Rogan now knows her name.

“I did say a little something to Joe Rogan right before we got started (with the post-fight interview),” Eubanks told reporters, including MMAjunkie, following her victory at Madison Square Garden in New York.

When Eubanks was briefly linked to a women’s flyweight title shot at UFC 230, Rogan was outspoken in his shock at the booking, insisting he didn’t know who Eubanks was. Coming from the UFC’s most seasoned commentator, that seemed damning for Eubanks’ claim that she deserved the spot.

So when Eubanks scored a decision win over Modafferi in Saturday night’s FS1-televised prelim bout, it seemed tension might follow when Rogan stepped in the cage for a post-fight chat. But Eubanks said the two talked it out during a commercial break.

“He came up to me and said, ‘My bad,'” Eubanks recalled. “I was like, ‘Yeah, bro – man. You didn’t have to do that.’ He was like, ‘I didn’t mean no disrespect.’ It was all good, man. It was all love.

“Joe, he calls a lot of fights. I’m going to fight a lot of fights. So, we squashed our beef, per se, but I like Joe. He came up to me, he said something, said he wanted to say something to me in private – said he didn’t mean any disrespect by it. I was like, ‘Well, you know I’ve got to talk a little smack,’ and at the end of it, I told him he does have some crazy fans. I was like ‘Your Twitter following is nuts, boy. They were going to murder me out there.’ I didn’t realize I started a riot, kind of. He kind of laughed about it.”

One fence mended.

Still, the fact remains that has now missed weight in two of her four UFC appearances. The first instance, where she was to fight for the inaugural women’s flyweight belt at The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale, saw her pulled from the card entirely. Eubanks said that experience actually was a big reason why she didn’t press too hard ahead of UFC 230, and explained that timing – and nature – weren’t on her side this time around.

“A lot of people don’t like to hear it, but we were doing good,” Eubanks said. “The weight was coming off real smooth. I was sweating real good. I’m a female. Once a month, we kind of have a problem. It just kind of – the timing was bad, and I kind of had to make a decision for myself and the team I had cutting with me on whether we wanted to try and push it anymore and get sent to the hospital again, because I knew if I got sent to the hospital, the fight was off, completely, so I kind of just had to make a few calls, and Roxanne, thankfully, was cool about it. Coughed up my 20 percent, and the fight was still on.

“We got pretty close, but the commission had their eye on me closely, and I didn’t want to do anything to jeopardize the actual fight.”

Heading into the contest, Eubanks had said with victory, she wanted to get another shot at the belt against the winner of the upcoming UFC 231 clash between Valentina Shevchenko and Joanna Jedrzejczyk, where the winner will take home the vacant title. But “Sarj” said she now realizes that by missing weight, that simply might not be possible.

“I know how the game is,” Eubanks said. “When you miss weight, it bumps down that ‘deserve,’ whether or not you’re next in line factor. So, we’ll see.”

In the meantime, Eubanks said she’s happy to pick up a UFC win, especially at one of the world’s most iconic venues. And yes, she heard the boos that were directed her way, but the Massachusetts-born fighter said she’s taking it all in stride.

“Why not?” Eubanks asked. “I’m having a blast. I just fought at Madison Square Garden. I had a tough fight. It was a wonderful fight against a wonderful opponent. My family got to come out. I had a lot of family who’s never been able to watch me fight at all because of the travel.

“I had a blast. A couple of people booed me, but a lot of people cheered me, too. At the end of the day, a lot more people know me than they did about three weeks ago, so I’m happy about it. I’m having fun.”

And the way Eubanks sees it, that whole Rogan beef might end up working out just fine in the long run.

“Thanks to Joe, a lot of people know who I am now,” Eubanks joked. “Thanks to me missing by a pound, a lot of people know who I am now. It is what it is.

“What’s most important to me is my close-knit circle. My coaches love me. My family loves me. My daughter loves me. All of that stuff is really important to me, and I’ve been blessed by God today, so we had a good time.”

To hear more from Eubanks, check out the video above.

For complete coverage of UFC 230, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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