JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — American Sijara (Sarj) Eubanks used her superior striking to earn a unanimous decision over Canadian bantamweight Sarah (Cheesecake) Moras on a UFC Fight Night card Wednesday.
The judges scored the bout 30-27, 30-27, 30-26 for Eubanks, ranked 15th among 135-pound contenders. Moras, native of Kelowna, B.C., who trains out of Las Vegas, shook her head when the scorecards were announced.
A crisp striker, Eubanks (6-4-0) got Moras' attention early by connecting with a pair of right hands and a high kick in the first round.
Moras (6-7-0) applied more pressure in the second, landing her jab. The Canadian also engaged Eubanks in a clinch, only to fall when a takedown attempt went awry. Moras looked for an armbar but Eubanks retained top position and landed strikes from above to finish the round strongly.
Eubanks had a 69-44 edge in significant strikes after two rounds. And the American used her striking to keep control in the final round. Eubanks took Moras down with two minutes remaining. Moras looking for a late submission but the fight ended with Eubanks firing shots from above.
There was some bad blood after the hooter when Moras took umbrage at Eubanks seeming to push her.
"I knew going into the third I was ahead of this one for sure, but I didn't want to coast because I know what it's like to be on the other side of the cards too." said Eubanks. "When you are down two rounds, you've got to kill so the last thing I wanted to do was slack off in the third."
The televised show was the second of three UFC cards in a week at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, home of the ECHL Jacksonville Icemen. Wednesday's main event saw Anthony (Lionheart) Smith, ranked third among light-heavyweight contenders, go up against No. 8 Glover Teixeira.
UFC 249, the UFC's first live show in two months, was held in Jacksonville on Saturday. Another Fight Night card is slated for this Saturday.
Moras, a betting underdog, had been training for Eubanks since learning of the matchup in January.
They were booked for UFC 249, originally slated for April 18 in Brooklyn and then Lemoore, Calif., as the UFC looked for a place to stage the fight during the pandemic. After broadcast partner ESPN stepped in, UFC eventually postponed the pay-per-view card and their bout was shifted to this card.
Wednesday marked the first outing for Moras since Sept. 7 when she defeated Georgia's Liana (She Wolf) Jojua by third-round TKO at UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi. Moras missed weight for that fight by two pounds but had no problem this time after starting her camp 15 pounds lighter than last time out.
The 35-year-old Eubanks, coming off back-to-back losses to No. 3 Aspen Ladd and No. 13 Bethe Correia, is now 3-2-0 in the UFC.
The 32-year-old Moras, whose UFC career has been interrupted by injuries, is 3-5 in the promotion.
Moras' Cheesecake nickname came after a friend dared her to come out to her first pro fight to the song "Cheesecake'' by the Muppets.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 13, 2020.
The Canadian Press