Dana White
Dana White revealed the new UFC 230 main event was the fight to make. In this picture, White takes questions from the media during the UFC 229 Press Conference at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, Sept. 20, 2018. Steven Ryan/Getty Images

The MMA world was left dumbfounded as the new main event of UFC 230 will be a women's flyweight title fight between Valentina Shevchenko and Sijara Eubanks.

UFC 230 takes place in the promotion's annual visit to New York's Madison Square Garden on Nov. 3 and the two previous visits to the venue saw stacked cards that were huge financial successes, with Conor McGregor headlining in 2016 while Georges St-Pierre headlined last year.

This year though, there was no indication as to who would headline the event with just over a month to go. The options speculated were a welterweight title fight between Tyron Woodley and Colby Covington, Jon Jones returning against Alexander Gustafsson and a 165-pound title fight between Nate Diaz and Dustin Poirier, both of whom are already fighting in the co-main event.

Diaz and Poirier heavily campaigned for the introduction of a new weight class and to make their bout the main event, but in the end, UFC president Dana White never planned on introducing a new division.

White later told ESPN the new main event was the "fight to make" and that it didn't make sense to add a 165-pound weight class.

"Yes, that's [Shevchenko vs. Eubanks] the main event," White said. "Listen, Eubanks, if she had made weight [before], she would have been the champion or at least fought for the championship. And there's no doubt that Valentina is the baddest girl around at 125 right now so it was the fight to make. I'm glad we could pull it off this soon."

Many were underwhelmed and understandably disappointed with the news.

Fans have been accustomed to huge headliners at Madison Square Garden and a women's flyweight title fight, a division which was introduced last year, does not really spark much excitement even though the rest of the cards were pretty stacked.

There's also the fact that many hardcore fans have no clue who Eubanks is, including the promotion's own commentator Joe Rogan. Here is how he and the rest of the MMA community reacted:

For those that don't know, Eubanks (3-2) was initially supposed to fight Nicco Montano for the newly-unveiled women's flyweight title at The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale in December but pulled out due to kidney failure while making weight. She made her official debut for the promotion at UFC Utica in June, where she defeated Lauren Murphy via unanimous decision.

Like Montano was for UFC 228 before the fight was pulled and the title became vacant, Eubanks is expected to be a heavy betting underdog against Shevchenko (15-3) as well, who many see as a long-reigning champion in the 125-pound division.

As it stands, here is what the UFC 230 main card could look like:

  • Valentina Shevchenko vs. Sijara Eubanks (women's flyweight title fight)
  • Nate Diaz vs. Dustin Poirier
  • Luke Rockhold vs. Chris Weidman
  • Derek Brunson vs. Israel Adesanya
  • Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza vs. David Branch