Coach Not Happy With Sijara Eubanks' Early Trip To Mexico City

There’s been plenty of instances of fighters suffering the ill effects of elevation inside the cage. 

We all of course know the cautionary tale of Cain Velasquez losing his heavyweight title, but he’s not alone in the struggle. 

With this weekend’s card nearly a mile and a half above sea level in Mexico City, there are plenty of fighters who have gone the extra mile to prepare. Perhaps none of them is more dedicated to making sure their cardio is on point than Sijara Eubanks, who went south of the border a full two weeks before the fight. 


“We’re up higher than Mexico City right now, so we’re definitely checking that box as far as preparing for that altitude,” Eubanks explains of her work in Zacatecas, Mexico (a city even higher than Mexico City). “So when I go down to Mexico City, I’m going to be real confident in my lungs.”

That aspect of her training was one of the ones that was most important to her. So important, in fact, that she had to make some sacrifices in order to achieve it. 

“It’s one of the reasons I came out a little early, I miss my camp back home,” she shared.  “But I think it was really important for me to keep that cardio because I always want to put my best foot forward coming into the cage.”

And although there is no doubt to her that she made the right choice for her fight camp, that doesn’t mean her whole team agrees. Coach Mark Henry is one who thinks she may have taken off a bit too soon and could have instead stayed with him just a little longer. 

“He thought I left a little bit too early - he wanted some more time with me,” she said, then recalling a joke he told about her choice. “He’s funny. He said ‘Did the Denver Broncos go 8-0 at home? Altitude isn’t that big of a deal - you should have stayed home with me a little longer.”

But even though he may not have agreed with the decision 100%, she and Henry continue to work together on a daily basis to get her ready for her big fight.

“He teased me a little bit, but I talk to Mark every day,” Eubanks said. “Any time I spar, I get the film and send it back to him. We’re constantly in contact about how the training is going, how’s my body feeling.”

Eubanks feels like her time with Henry is paying big dividends, even with her on the other side of the continent completely. 

I think he’s an absolute legend. He is an absolute genius. I think his intelligence in how he knows how to break down film, how to prepare a gameplan, and how to make each fighter he has in his camp better - I think he’s just the best at it,” she said.  “He’s the hardest working coach I’ve ever been under.”

We’ll see those benefits of working at elevation, and with the highly touted coach, when Eubanks steps in this weekend against Bethe Correia at UFC on ESPN+. The fight will air on the preliminary portion of the card. 

Tyson Nam: "I'm the Biggest Puncher At 125lbs"

After an MMA career that spanned over thirteen and a half years, Tyson Nam finally got the call to achieve one of his dreams; to fight in the UFC. However, the short notice fight with Sergio Pettis didn’t exactly go as planned, as Pettis took the unanimous decision victory. 

Top Turtle MMA Podcast: Featuring Jalin Turner + Tyson Nam

The UFC may be half a world away this weekend, but Top Turtle is still in the same place as always. 

Vinicius Trator & Duarte To Face Off At Fight To Win 136

Fight To Win is  pulling out the stops with this mega-card going down in San Diego this Valentine’s weekend.

Top Turtle MMA Podcast: Featuring Casey Kenney + Macy Chiasson

UFC Rio Rancho is the overlooked card of the year and Top Turtle MMA is getting you in the know about it. 

Inside Look At Henry Cejudo's Next Challenge

The rumor mill has been churning and more than one media outlet has spit out that Henry Cejudo is expected to face Jose Aldo for the bantamweight title come May. The controversy in this call is pretty obvious, with a wealth of contenders waiting in the wings and Aldo coming off of a loss (albeit a close one). Many of the top contenders in the division have voiced their displeasure at the rumored bout, from Aljamain Sterling to Petr Yan. 

Jones Reigns Supreme With Heavy Critique

Clutch City was treated to an incredible night of fights by the UFC on Saturday evening. A card topped with two title fights with two dominant champions looking to continue their legacy, fight fans packed the Toyota Center as Texas fans always pack an arena for fights. 

Top Turtle MMA Podcast: With Katlyn Chookagian + Miles Johns

A double header of title fights caps off this weekend, but first let a double header of interviews get your week started right. 

Katlyn Chookagian: Ready For Battle With Champ Valentina Shevchenko

Since dropping to 125lbs almost exactly two years ago, Valentina Shevchenko has looked downright unbeatable. She dominated Priscila Cachoeira, decisioned both Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Liz Carmouche, and head kicked Jessica Eye into a different zip code. 

Lauren Murphy Finds Herself In Coaching Cluster

After starting her career in her native Alaska and fighting for Alaska Fighting Championships, Lauren Murphy eventually made her way to Glendale, Arizona and The MMA Lab. At The Lab, Murphy rose to become Invicta FC bantamweight champion and punched her ticket to the UFC. 

Top Turtle MMA Podcast: Featuring Lauren Murphy + Juan Adams

Quick break from the UFC grind this week - the last one we’ll get from some time - but there is no rest for the wicked.