TUF 26 Finale medical suspensions: Four get potential six-month terms

Sean O’Malley continued to make a name for himself as a bantamweight to watch, but there’s potential he’ll be out of action for a while.

O’Malley (9-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) may be sitting out for six months unless doctors clear both his left hand and left foot with X-rays following his win over Terrion Ware (17-7 MMA, 0-2 UFC) in the co-main event of the TUF 26 Finale this past Friday.

The Nevada State Athletic Commission released the medical suspensions to MMAjunkie today following the event, which it oversaw at Park Theater in Las Vegas. It aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Four fighters on the card were given potential six-month medical suspensions. Along with O’Malley, Barb Honchak (10-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC), Melinda Fabian (4-3-2 MMA, 0-0-1 UFC) and Ariel Beck (4-5 MMA, 0-1 UFC) could be out for 180 days.

In the main event, Nicco Montano (4-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) won the inaugural UFC women’s flyweight title with a unanimous decision over Roxanne Modafferi (21-14 MMA, 0-2 UFC). Modafferi was given a 30-day suspension with no contact for 21 days.

The full list of medical suspensions from the TUF 26 Finale include:

    • Roxanne Modafferi: Suspended 30 days with no contact for 21 days.
    • Sean O’Malley: Suspended 180 days unless cleared by doctor with left hand and left foot X-rays.
    • Terrion Ware: Suspended 21 days with no contact for 14 days.
    • Barb Honchak: Suspended 180 days unless cleared by doctor with right hand X-ray.
    • Eric Spicely: Suspended 45 days with no contact for 30 days.
    • Melinda Fabian: Suspended 180 days or until broken left thumb cleared by doctor; in addition, suspended 21 days with no contact for 14 days.
    • Ryan Janes: Suspended 30 days with no contact for 21 days for hard fight.
    • Andrew Sanchez: Suspended 45 days with no contact for 30 days for lip laceration.
    • Ariel Beck: Suspended 180 days unless cleared by doctor with left wrist X-ray; in addition, suspended 45 days with no contact for 30 days.

For complete coverage of The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

TUF 26 Finale salaries: New UFC champ Nicco Montano banks $100,000

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Newly crowned and inaugural women’s flyweight champion Nicco Montano took home a disclosed payday of $100,000 at The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale.

MMAjunkie today requested and obtained the list of disclosed paydays from the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

The TUF 26 Finale took place Dec. 1 at Park Theatre in Las Vegas, and it aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

In the main event, Montana (4-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) won the “TUF 26” tournament, which crowned the UFC’s first 125-pound female champion, with a unanimous-decision victory over late replacement Roxanne Modafferi (21-14 MMA, 0-2 UFC), who subbed in after Sijara Eubanks failed to make weight for the fight.

Montana earned a flat payday of $100,000 and wasn’t eligible for a win bonus. Modafferi also earned $100,000 flat.

The total disclosed payout for the event was $553,000.

The full TUF 26 Finale payouts included:

Nicco Montano: $100,000 (no win bonus)
def. Roxanne Modafferi: $100,000

Sean O’Malley: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Terrion Ware: $10,000

Lauren Murphy: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Barb Honchak: $10,000

Gerald Meerschaert: $28,000 (includes $14,000 win bonus)
def. Eric Spicely: $14,000

DeAnna Bennett: $10,000*
vs. Melinda Fabian: $10,000*

Brett Johns: $28,000 (includes $14,000 win bonus)
def. Joe Soto: $31,000

Montana De La Rosa: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Christina Marks: $10,000

Ryan Janes: $24,000 (includes $12,000 win bonus)
def. Andrew Sanchez: $28,000

Rachael Ostovich: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Karine Gevorgyan: $10,000

Shana Dobson: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Ariel Beck: $10,000

Gillian Robertson: $20,000 (includes $ win bonus)
def. Emily Whitmire: $10,000

* – Fight ended in a draw; no win bonuses given

Now, the usual disclaimer: The figures do not include deductions for items such as insurance, licenses and taxes. Additionally, the figures do not include money paid by sponsors, including the official UFC Athlete Outfitting sponsorship program pay. They also do not include any other “locker room” or special discretionary bonuses the UFC often pays.

For example, as previously reported, UFC officials handed out additional $50,000 TUF 26 Finale fight-night bonuses to Montano and Modafferi (“Fight of the Night”) and Meerschaert and Johns (“Performance of the Night”).

In other words, the above figures are simply base salaries reported to the commission and do not reflect entire compensation packages for the event.

For complete coverage of The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Roxanne Modafferi after UFC title loss: 'I've got to keep smiling – it's my job'

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LAS VEGAS – For years, Roxanne Modafferi has been an MMA fan favorite. And the interview that followed her title loss at Friday’s The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale was a reminder of why.

After falling short in the “TUF 26” semifinals, Modafferi (21-14 MMA, 0-2 UFC) got another shot at becoming the season winner – and the UFC’s first women’s flyweight champion – when finalist Sijara Eubanks had to withdraw at the last minute. Modafferi, who was originally slated to fight Barb Honchack, stepped in to meet finalist Nicco Montano (4-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) in the night’s championship headliner instead.

Modafferi hung tough until the end, and she even found a dangerous-looking armbar in the final round of a thrilling battle. Still, Montano walked away with the unanimous-decision win and belt.

After the bout, “The Happy Warrior” did her best to keep her well-known positive attitude even in light of what she admits was a particularly tough blow.

“I left everything I had in the cage,” Modafferi said after the title fight, which aired on FS1 from Park Theater in Las Vegas. “Nicco is a spectacular athlete. I could look at all the details of my performance and analyze it, but I did my best. I think she got those takedowns that did a lot for the decision. I wanted the title, really badly. But I’ve got to keep smiling. It’s my job. …

“Actually, I just kept trying to tell myself it was just another fight. You know, I didn’t want to put extra stress on myself. But then when I saw the belt around her waist, I was just like, ‘Man.’”

Modafferi, who was preparing for a three-round scrap against Honchack, said it “would have been nice” to go five rounds in training. But as someone who always does extra cardio, the flyweight ultimately makes no excuses for the tough loss.

While her UFC record now stands 0-2, the women’s MMA pioneer has made such visible strides in her MMA game over the years that her name has become almost synonymous with evolution. For many, like ex-fighter and Invicta FC commentator Julie Kedzie, Modafferi’s career is an example of the power of not giving up (via Twitter):

The fact that, 14 years after her MMA debut, 35-year-old Modafferi is still evolving is nothing short of remarkable. And as somewhat of a vampire, the fighter doesn’t feel “super old.” So as she’s been known to do in her career, the veteran is still all about getting back on the horse and evolving.

That is, after her nose stops swelling and she gets her much-deserved taco time.

“I just have to go back to the gym and get stronger,” Modafferi said. “I’m not naturally physically strong. I’m not a natural athlete, so I have to work really hard to build strength. But I know I have more potential. So I’ll keep going and get stronger and win again. And put on another good fight. …

“No matter what my real age is, I’m going to keep training and maybe work my way back to title contention. We’ll see. I still feel good. I never felt so healthy for a bout as this one.”

Modafferi walks away from Friday’s gritty encounter with some consolation prizes. She got to put on a “Fight of the Night” battle that earned her an extra $50,000. And, if it’s even possible, she probably made even more fans in the process. Sure, it wasn’t the crown, but there’s something to be said for moral victories.

“Moral victories are all we really have in this world,” Modafferi said. “When we think about experiences that we go through, sometimes, you’ll be surprised what you remember and what you don’t remember. The awesome dinner I had with all my friends – half of my friends were my fans who e-mailed me like, ‘Hey, I’m a fan.’

“I’m like, ‘OK, let’s be friends.’ And then we’re best friends. That’s so cool, right? That’s one of the best things about being a mixed martial artist – that people reach out to me, and I make friends with them. That sounds super corny, but it’s true.”

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

And for complete coverage of The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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New UFC women's flyweight champ Nicco Montano fought Roxanne Modaferri with broken foot

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LAS VEGAS – Nicco Montano went five tough rounds with Roxanne Modafferi to win the inaugural UFC women’s flyweight title.

Just as impressive, she fought through a broken bone in her foot.

“It’s still broken now, technically,” Montano (4-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) told MMAjunkie backstage after her gutsy decision win over Modaferri (21-14 MMA, 0-2 UFC) in the FS1-televised headliner of The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale at Park Theater in Las Vegas.

To deal with the pain, Montano got a cortisone shot one day before the event’s weigh-ins. She still gutted out five rounds despite not being able to push off her foot as normal.

It wasn’t the only loop thrown her way. On the day of the event’s weigh-ins, her originally scheduled opponent, Sijara Eubanks, was scratched from the title bout due to a bad weight cut.

Montano, who outpointed three opponents to make the finals, had just sat in the sauna with Eubanks while they shed the last pounds on the way to the scale, anticipating their upcoming opportunity.

The strain of the weight cut left Montano unable to walk after weigh-ins. A rep from the UFC’s Performance Institute had to give her a massage to get mobility back.

“I probably had, like, 10 percent of 100 mobility in my left foot,” she said. “I thought I wasn’t going to be able to fight. It was such an emotional roller coaster. But I told myself, I made it through the ‘TUF’ competition – don’t give up now.”

Modaferri gave Montano everything she could handle. And yet she never tired amid the fight’s frenzied pace.

At 4-2 as a professional, Montano doesn’t expect things to get any easier inside the cage. Outside it, that’s a different story.

Montano walked onto the set of the long-running reality show from a basement apartment in Albuquerque, N.M., where she lives with her boyfriend.

“We were dirt poor just before tonight in all reality,” she said.

With a new UFC belt on her waist, and a $50,000 performance bonus soon to be deposited in her bank, life is about to change.

“I’m going to go move to an apartment with some water pressure, and buy some good food and treats for my cats,” she said.

For complete coverage of The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

TUF 26 Finale bonuses: Nicco Montano, Roxanne Modafferi pick up $50,000 in title fight

LAS VEGAS – Nicco Montano, Roxanne Modafferi, Gerald Meerschaert and Brett Johns each earned $50,000 bonuses for their performances at Friday’s TUF 26 Finale event.

Montano, Modafferi earned the “Fight of the Night,” while Meerschaert and Johns each won “Performance of the Night” honors.

UFC officials announced the winners following the event, which MMAjunkie attended.

Montano (4-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) topped Modafferi (21-14 MMA, 0-2 UFC) with a five-round unanimous decision to win the inaugural UFC women’s flyweigh title. Montano earned her spot in the final with a 3-0 run on Season 26 of “The Ultimate Fighter.” But Modafferi only got the fight after Sijara Eubanks was hospitalized with weight-cutting issues. Modafferi had lost in the semifinals.

Meerschaert (27-9 MMA, 3-1 UFC) took out Eric Spicely (10-3 MMA, 2-3 UFC) in their main-card middleweight fight with a sickening left kick to the liver. It dropped Spicely immediately, and the TKO came a second later.

Johns (15-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) opened the main card with a rare submission against Joe Soto (18-6 MMA, 3-4 UFC) in their bantamweight fight. Johns caught Soto with a calf slicer and forced him to tap just 30 seconds into the fight.

The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale took place Friday at Park Theater in Las Vegas. It aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

For complete coverage of The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Twitter reacts to Nicco Montano's inaugural title win vs. Roxanne Modafferi at TUF 26 Finale

Nicco Montano made history Friday when she claimed the inaugural UFC women’s flyweight title in The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale main event.

After running through the field on “The Ultimate Fighter 26” reality show, Montano (4-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) completed her journey in the headliner of the FS1-televised card at Park Theatre in Las Vegas, beating Roxanne Modafferi (21-14 MMA, 0-2 UFC) by unanimous decision to become the UFC’s first women’s 125-pound titleholder.

Check below for the top Twitter reactions to Montano’s victory over Modafferi at the TUF 26 Finale.

* * * *

http://twitter.com/QoSBaszler/status/936840161647779841

For complete coverage of The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Filed under: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

TUF 26 Finale results: Nicco Montano outlasts courageous Roxanne Modafferi to claim UFC title

LAS VEGAS – Surprise finalist Nicco Montano (4-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) claimed the UFC’s inaugural women’s flyweight title and “The Ultimate Fighter 26” crown with an impressive win over an incredibly tough Roxanne Modafferi (21-14 MMA, 0-2 UFC).

The inaugural women’s flyweight title bout was the main event of today’s TUF 26 Finale event at Park Theater in Las Vegas. It aired on FS1 following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

The action was quick to start, with Modafferi wasting little time moving forward and looking to mix it up. Montano quickly answered back, and both women were busy from the opening bell. Montano kept her guard high and added in kicks to different levels, just missing th chin on a quick high kick. Modafferi kicked to the body a bit, as well, then moved inside and looked for a takedown that wouldn’t materialize.

Modafferi maintained her aggression and was able to drag the fight to the floor when Montano caught one of her kicks. From there, Modafferi looked for options from her back, moving between the wrists and neck and eventually getting herself into decent position for an armbar that Montano was able to escape and then return to the feet. However, Modafferi quickly slipped under a punch and scored a beautiful outside trip, moving to side control in the final minute and trying to isolate an arm until the round came to an end.

Modafferi again pushed the pace to start the second, coming forward with offense and giving Montano absolutely no room to work. Modafferi eventually worked inside, but Montano pushed her away and kept it a striking affair. The two combatants kept it scrappy as the round continued, both scoring with punches on the inside. Montano chopped the legs a bit, as well, though Modafferi did occasionally capitalize with counters. The pace remained high for both women, though Montano did start to find cleaner shots as time went on. Modafferi was able to get inside and score a late takedown, but it backfired, and Montano lcked up a triangle choke, driving punches and elbows to the trapped head as she looked to finish. Modafferi survived until the bell and took a deep breath as she walked back to the corner.

Modafferi continued to push forward in the third, though Montano seemed to time the charges a bit better while launching the counter left. Montano briefly moved into the clinch but wasn’t able to get Modafferi off her feet, and they returned to the center. While Montano’s face slowly reddened, she did draw blood from Modafferi’s nose, finding the target more frequently as her opponent’s pace trailed off just slightly. Montano kept her pressure high, though Modafferi remained busy in a scrappy affair.

The two continued to fire strikes in abundance in the forth, but it was Montano who seemed more powerful in both her punches as well as high kick that snuck over her opponent’s shoulder. Modafferi eventually worked inside and tried for a throw that was ultimate reversed. Modafferi scrambled quickly to her feet but was met with more strikes from Montano, who gained momentum with each exchange. A scrappy Modafferi never backed down and landed her share of return shots, busting open her opponent’s nose before Montano was able to catch a high kick and drive the action to the floor in the final minute.

Modafferi had to go for broke in the final round, and she did come out firing. However, Montano was able to match the pace and eventually drive the fight to the floor. Montano briefly advanced to mount, but Modafferi scrambled and worked back to the feet. Once there, she moved inside for a trip takedown, only to be reversed, where Montano settled into top position. Modafferi refused to go away, scrambling back to the feet and pushing until the end. But Montano absorbed the strikes on the feet and again secured dominant position in a scramble to the floor. Working from guard, Modafferi did control the wrists and looked for an opportunity that came with just seconds remaining. Modafferi fully extended and armbar that popped loose just when it was close to ending the fight. Both women returned to the feet, and Modafferi moved forward like an athlete possessed until the final bell.

Despite the emotional finish, Monatano had banked rounds along the way and was awarded a decision win, 50-45, 49-46 and 49-46.

Complete TUF 26 Finale results include:

For complete coverage of The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s John Morgan and Ken Hathaway contributed to this report on site in Las Vegas.)

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Source: MMA Junkie

'TUF 26' coaches Eddie Alvarez, Justin Gaethje not surprised by Sijara Eubanks missing weight

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DETROIT – Sijara Eubanks’ inability to step on the scale and weigh in for Friday’s inaugural UFC women’s flyweight title fight at The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale didn’t come as much of a surprise to “TUF 26” head coaches Eddie Alvarez and Justin Gaethje.

Alvarez (28-5 MMA, 3-2 UFC), who served as Eubanks’ coach during her run on the reality series, said he heard rumors the fighter was struggling to hit the 125-pound mark earlier today. He hoped she would get over the hurdle after she successfully (but narrowly) made weight three times during the tournament. However, Eubanks was hospitalized and pulled from the card.

It was a stunning turn of events, and as a result, replacement Roxanne Modafferi (21-13 MMA, 0-0 UFC) now meets finalist Nicco Montano (3-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) in the 125-pound title headliner, which airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass from Park Theatre in Las Vegas.

“Behind the scenes I kind of heart some fluttering, but (I’m) disappointed,” Alvarez told MMAjunkie. “Seriously disappointing. We never know the reasoning behind these kind of things. Personally I don’t think there’s an excuse for it. But I’m going to have to call to Vegas and see what’s going on.”

Gaethje (18-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC), who fights Alvarez on Saturday’s UFC 218 pay-per-view main card, which takes place at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass, was not exactly stunned by the situation, either. He was well aware of Eubanks’ weight-cutting struggles throughout “TUF,” so when news broke that she was out of the title fight, Gaethje said he wasn’t surprised.

“No (it doesn’t surprise me),” Gaethje said. “I had the very first pick on the very first fight, and Sarj weighed 155 pounds. My coaches wanted me to pick her, but if I did pick her she would not have made weight and she would not have even been in the discussion right now. I should have done it because she would have learned a hard lesson then instead of now on the biggest stage. She showed up 20 pounds over probably, or 20 to 25. Stupid.”

Gaethje and Alvarez have never missed weight in a combined 51 fights. They both believe that it’s unprofessional to miss under any circumstance, but for a UFC title fight, Eubanks’ error is particularly egregious, they said.

“The first 27, 28 pounds are the easy ones,” Alvarez said. “It’s the last three-quarters of a pound, (one) pound left that kind of breaks your spirit. It’s sad because Sarj, she made weight three times in a series of like three weeks, which is an incredible feat. This is a wold title, man. This is huge. That’s a huge disappointment.”

For more on The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale and UFC 218, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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'TUF 26' finalist Sijara Eubanks breaks silence on weight miss that scrapped UFC title shot

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“The Ultimate Fighter 26” finalist Sijara Eubanks has released her first public statement in the wake of a crushing weight miss that scrapped her shot at the inaugural UFC women’s flyweight title.

Eubanks (2-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) declared she previously had “cut more weight than most male fighters,” yet admitted to “miscalculations” during her weight cut that prevented her from making the 125-pound limit required for title bouts.

Eubanks also revealed she suffered kidney failure while trying to make weight for the headliner of The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale, explaining her trip to a local hospital in the hours prior to weigh-ins for Friday’s FS1-televised event at Park Theatre in Las Vegas.

“No excuses, I worked my ass off and went out on my shield,” Eubanks wrote on Instagram. “I was hospitalized early this morning for kidney failure but best believe I’ma be right back training and right back after that belt.”

Stepping in Eubanks place for the finale is Roxanne Modafferi (21-13 MMA, 0-1 UFC), whom she beat in the semifinals of the reality show tournament. Modafferi faces finalist Nicco Montano (3-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) while Modafferi’s originally scheduled opponent, Barb Honchak (10-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC), meets “TUF 26” contestant Lauren Murphy (9-3 MMA, 1-3 UFC), who was on a standby as a potential replacement fighter for the event.

Here is Eubanks’ full statement (via Instagram):

Instagram Photo

“First of all, I’m a champion. Point blank. I will be UFC champion, but it’s God’s will that it won’t be Friday night. 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.
Thank you to all my coaches, friends and family and the wonderful staff at UFC.
God is good and I am truly blessed.”

For more on The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Roxanne Modafferi replaces Sijara Eubanks in TUF 26 Finale's inaugural title fight

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The UFC’s inaugural women’s flyweight title fight has a new challenger.

After “TUF 26” tournament finalist Sijara Eubanks (2-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) failed to weigh in for her fight with Nicco Montano (3-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC), tourney semifinalist Roxanne Modafferi (21-13 MMA, 0-0 UFC) today was named the replacement.

Their fight headlines the TUF 26 Finale, which takes place at Park Theatre in Las Vegas. The majority of the card, including the Modafferi vs. Montano title fight, airs on FS1 following one early prelim on UFC Fight Pass.

According to UFC officials, the change follows Eubanks’ hospitalization earlier today as she was cutting weight for the bout, which determines the UFC’s first 125-pound female champion.

MMAjunkie’s John Morgan was on scene at today’s official weigh-ins (watch Modafferi weigh in above) in Las Vegas and reported the switch. (via Twitter):

Here’s a statement from the UFC:

“Due to medical issues, Sijara Eubanks, was hospitalized Thursday morning and has been pulled from her bout against Nicco Montano at Friday’s The Ultimate Fighter Finale. Stepping in for Eubanks to fight in the inaugural UFC women’s flyweight championship bout will be Ultimate Fighter 26 semifinalist Roxanne Modafferi.”

Modafferi (21-13 MMA, 0-0 UFC), whom Eubanks defeated in the semifinal round of the tournament, was scheduled to fight Honchak (10-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) on the main card of Friday’s TUF 26 Finale. With Modafferi elevated to tourney final/title fight, Honchak now meets UFC vet Lauren Murphy (9-3 MMA, 1-3 UFC), who was eliminated in the first round of the tourney. Murphy was in Las Vegas this week and on standby at as a possible replacement fighter.

Following news of her unexpected title shot, Modafferi, a 14-year pro who’s gone 6-2 in official pro bouts since a one-and-done first UFC stint in 2013, wished Eubanks a quick recovery (via Twitter):

Eubanks, the No. 12 seed in the tourney structure, struggled to make weight during the duration of the 16-woman “TUF 26” tourney, which recently concluded its regular-season run on FS1. However, the former Invicta FC fighter had more than a month to prepare herself for the latest weigh-in and the planned title fight.

Her replacement, No. 1 seed Modafferi, who also had a brief run on “TUF 18,” now meets No. 14 seed Montano for a UFC belt.

For more on The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie