1. Introduce yourself please, when and how did you start doing BJJ?
My name is Sijara Eubanks, and I’m a Black belt in BJJ. I’ve been doing Jiu Jitsu for 10 years, I started in 2008 at age 22.
2. And when did you make the transition to MMA?
I made the transition to MMA in 2013 when I started competing as an amateur.
I’ve always loved mma and that’s what I wanted to do since I started training. But I knew I needed a base, so I focused on BJJ for a few years and when I got to Brown belt I was able to turn my focus onto mma.
4. Do you intend to keep competing in BJJ or will focus only in MMA?
I intend to compete in BJJ again, I’m very focused on MMA right now, especially since I’m in the UFC but I will compete IBJJF again.
5. And when did you become a mum? How old is your child now?
I became a mom in April 2017, our baby is 9months now.
6. You are the first BJJ homosexual mum we have interviewed, actually the only one we are aware of, though probably there are more. When did you come out as a lesbian? Did you have any problem with friends/family accepting it?
I came out a while ago, I was 20 years old, so I’ve been out more than 10 years. I came out in college.
Actually, no, I didn’t have any trouble coming out. My friends and family were all supportive and that’s rare so I’m blessed.
7. In case of lesbian mum, there are different ways to become a mum. Which way did you and your partner choose? Was a difficutl choice? Tell us about it.
So we did an ICI procedure, which means an at-home insemination. We didn’t want to go to the clinic to have it done because they give the carrier so many drugs and medicines and we wanted to get as close to the most natural way we could. So we found a donor we liked and me and my partner did the insemination ourselves. It was a pretty easy decision because it felt more personal and more love between us, instead of having a doctor do it.
8. What do your child call you? Do you feel different from other families? If so, how so?
Well our little girl isn’t talking yet, but I’m “Mama” and my partner is “Mommy” but as she learns to speak we’re going to let her choose our “names.” Like let her sort out which she prefers as she grows up. Honestly, it does feel different sometimes. When we’re out, many times people don’t recognize me as her mother also. My partner is more feminine so people always assume she’s mom, but then they see me and assume I’m a friend or something. Usually once we say, no we’re both her mother, people are ok and don’t say anything. It’s bothersome because it’s not an anomaly any more, we feel “normal” and we have a “normal” family so when we get looks it’s more like what’s their problem?
9. In your case, your partner was the one getting pregant. How did you live her pregnancy? Would you like to get pregnant yourself in the future?
Pregnancy is beautiful thing, but it’s a challenge. I felt for my partner when she was in pain, but most times I thought she was such a strong woman for carrying and birthing a baby. I think childbirth is a special process and I was in love throughout the whole thing. Of course some parts are tough, like when she was in pain, or sleepless or nauseated and I did my best to help.
I don’t know if I’d get pregnant in the future. We want more kids, and my partner wants to carry again and I don’t plan to take time out of my career right now for childbirth. So IF I did try to get pregnant it would be years from now and we will just have to see how many kids we have and if we are still ready for more lol
10. Where you at the delivery? Describe it!
Yes I was there, I caught the baby myself! it’s a long story!! The short version, we had planned a home birth, all natural. But at the last minute plans fell through and we had to move to NYC and there were no affordable midwives. So we decided to wait until labor started before going to the hospital because we didn’t want drugs or interference by nurses and such. But our little one came so fast we didn’t make it to the hospital and we had her in the hallway outside the elevators in our apartment building! The paramedics didn’t get there fast enough, so my partner and I, somehow, remembered everything from our birth class and all the YouTube videos and we had her right there in the hallway.
A link to a video of me describing the birth: http://mmajunkie.com/2017/09/sijara-eubanks-girlfriend-tuf-26-delivers-baby
11. How being a mum have change you as an athlete? and as a person?
Being a mother is wonderful. It’s made me way more selfless. For it’s easy to think about myself all the time or think about my career all the time. With a baby, she means more to me than my career or fighting. Being a mother helped me become more responsible and just overall happier. Like if I’m having a bad day, it doesn’t matter, one smile from her and I can’t help but feel better.
12. Is your partner also training BJJ or any other sport?
No my partner doesn’t train any sports. She used to train BJJ when she was a kid and little while when we first started dating. She wants to start back training BJJ again because we are going to put our daughter to train she she’s old enough.
13. What is the hardest thing you have to endure so far as a mum?
The hardest thing so far is teaching her to sleep alone. We know she has to but she cries and it breaks my heart, so she usually ends up in our bed anyways.
14. What are your next goals in your sport career?
My next goal is to be UFC women’s Flyweight champion. So I’m working towards that everyday.