One of the more intriguing matchups at UFC 257 was the flyweight contest between Jessica Eye (15-8) and Joanne “JoJo” Calderwood (14-5). Both of these top ten flyweights were looking to bounce back after taking losses in 2020.
2020 was a tough year for the UFC‘s Calderwood. Calderwood earned a title shot and was expected to fight Valentina Shevchenko in June. However, the champion suffered a knee injury and the fight was going to be pushed back.
Calderwood wanted to take another fight instead of wait for the shot. She was looking at a lengthy layoff and didn’t want that heading into a title shot. Calderwood took on Jennifer Maia and was submitted in the first round. Maia took away Calderwood’s UFC title shot.
2020 was also not a great year for Jessica Eye. Eye is a former UFC title challenger and spent a good portion of the year ranked as the number one contender. However, that changed when she headlined a fight night against Cynthia Calvillo.
Calvillo was making her flyweight debut and used her superior grappling to beat Eye by a decision. Eye tumbled in the rankings and was looking to get back towards a UFC title shot with a win tonight.
UFC 257 Recap
The UFC 257 flyweight contest kicked off with both ladies meeting in the middle with a big exchange. These two didn’t waste any time at all. Calderwood looked for knees in the clinch while Eye worked the uppercuts.
After a couple of exchanges, Eye pushed Calderwood up against the fence in the clinch. The two separated and Calderwood landed a very nice 1-2 off of a leg kick. After that, Eye went right back to clinching Calderwood but ate a knee for her efforts.
Calderwood was able to break the clinch and she landed a body kick. Jessica Eye did a good job of landing a couple of good shots before the two clinched again. Calderwood again was able to break free. Halfway through the round and the two exchanged big shots before they clinched again.
Eye was able to get the better of the position and she started landing good knees against the fence. She then was able to land some good body shots, but Calderwood countered with knees. The separated and both started exchanged again.
Through the first round of this UFC 257 flyweight contest, Jessica Eye continuously was getting the best of the clinch. A furious pace to the first round and I’ll lean towards Jessica Eye after one.
The second round at UFC 257 kicked off with a big body kick from JoJo Calderwood. The two clinched and they both landed body shots in the clinch. Calderwood then landed some clean shots on the outside.
After that, she then landed a big front kick to the face. Calderwood then popped Eye with a clean 1-2. Eye was trying to close the distance, but Calderwood was catching coming in. Both ladies exchanged clean jabs with three minutes left in the round.
The two clinched again and Calderwood landed a couple of clean knees. Eye did land a couple of nice shots to the body. Calderwood then landed a nasty body kick and followed it up with a clean right hand.
Another good body kick lands for Calderwood. Eye was pushing forward, but Calderwood was touching her up in the second. Eye landed a clean jab with 90 seconds left in the round, but Calderwood countered with some good body kicks.
Calderwood was really connecting everywhere with the kicks in the second. She started working calf kicks before going back to the body. Jessica Eye was able to catch Calderwood spinning in the final minute and Eye landed a takedown. Despite the takedown, I have this UFC 257 contest even heading into the third.
This UFC 257 flyweight contest was up for grabs heading into the third round. Calderwood opened the striking with a couple of body kicks. Jessica Eye closed the distance and was able to force a clinch 20 seconds in.
For the next minute of the fight, Eye was just controlling Calderwood against the fence. Not a ton of action and the referee was threatening to separate. Eye was trying to take Calderwood down, but Calderwood’s defense really halted the action.
Halfway through the round and Calderwood landed a knee, but she couldn’t separate from Eye. Finally the referee separates the two and Calderwood landed a couple of clean shots to the body.
Eye tried to clinch again, but Calderwood defended well. Calderwood then popped Eye with a couple of shots. Jessica Eye was trying to throw, but she was out of range. Calderwood then hit her clean with a right hand that forced a takedown attempt.
Calderwood sprawled well and forced the fight back up. The two then clinched and Calderwood started landing good knees to the body. When the two separated, Calderwood continued to look for shots. Eye looked very tired.
The two clinched against the fence and Calderwood started landing big shots. Calderwood landed a big knee and Eye gets cut open. The round comes to a close and Calderwood should get the decision here.
JoJo Calderwood def. Jessica Eye by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)