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Sijara Eubanks hospitalized, Roxanne Modafferi to fight Nicco Montaño for UFC flyweight title

Roxanne Modafferi (EL, MMA Fighting) Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Roxanne Modafferi will be fighting for a UFC title this weekend.

Sijara Eubanks was hospitalized early Thursday morning and has withdrawn from the inaugural UFC flyweight title fight Friday at the TUF 26 Finale in Las Vegas due to medical issues, according to a UFC statement.

Stepping in for Eubanks against Nicco Montaño will be Modafferi, who successfully made weight Thursday morning for a scheduled fight with Barb Honchak.

Eubanks beat Modafferi in the semifinals of the TUF 26 title tournament by unanimous decision to earn the right to fight Montaño in the finals for the belt. But weight-cutting issues plagued Eubanks throughout the season and those appear to have knocked her out of a chance at UFC gold.

Montaño beat Honchak in the semifinals of the tournament.

As a result of Modafferi’s move to the main event, Honchak will instead fight Lauren Murphy. UFC officials announced the switch Thursday prior to ceremonial weigh-ins. Murphy, a fellow TUF 26 cast member, wrote Wednesday on social media that she would be standing by as an alternate for Friday’s card after her original opponent, Priscila Cachoeira, was unable to compete due to visa issues.

Modafferi (21-13) is a women’s MMA pioneer. She’s been fighting professionally since 2003 and appeared on the first-ever women’s Ultimate Fighter show in 2013 at bantamweight. Modafferi, 35, has won six of eight fights and looked like a reborn fighter since that season and moving to Las Vegas to train at Syndicate MMA.

Montaño (4-2) had a Cinderella run on TUF 26 as the No. 14 seed out of 16 contestants. The 28-year-old Montaño, who lost her last fight before the show, trains out of Fit NHB in Albuquerque, N.M.

The full UFC statement is below:

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.

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