Finally, Sijara Eubanks has her first official UFC victory under her belt.
The Springfield, Mass., native earned a spot in the The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale last year, which would have meant a chance to fight for the inaugural UFC women’s flyweight title.
Eubanks had to pull out of the bout with Nicco Montano after her weight cut ended with kidney issues.
But she returned to action on Friday night at UFC Utica and made a statement she belongs in the conversation at 125 pounds. Eubanks earned a unanimous decision over game veteran Lauren Murphy, getting a 29-28 and a pair of 30-27s from the judges.
“I proved I’m not just a fluke,” Eubanks said. ”I’m a real fighter, I’m a flyweight I can make the weight and I plan on sticking around.”
Eubanks set the tone early with a more aggressive approach, pushing forward and landing shots. She followed up by demonstrating her skills on the ground, landing punches from top and evading Murphy’s submission attempts. Eubanks never came close to finishing the always tough Murphy, but nor was Murphy ever able to really get anything going.
Eubanks improved to 3-2 with the win, while Murphy, who was the first Invicta bantamweight champ, dropped to 10-4, with all four losses via decision.