UFC booking Jennifer Maia – Jessica Eye

The UFC is in the process of finalizing a pivotal matchup between two top ten women’s flyweight contenders. Two former title challengers will be going head-to-head as Jennifer Maia (18-7-1) will be taking on Jessica “Evil” Eye (15-9, 1 NC).

MMA Fighting was first to report that the UFC was booking this flyweight matchup. The fight between the two top ten contenders will take place on the July 10th card which is rumored to be the Conor McGregor – Dustin Poirier 3 card.

Jennifer Maia will be making her return after her failed attempt to become flyweight champion at UFC 255. Maia took on the undisputed flyweight queen, Valentina Shevchenko, and she was one of the biggest betting underdogs in history.

However, early on in the fight, Maia showed that she belonged. While Maia ultimately lost the fight by a wide margin, she dominated Shevchenko in the second round at UFC 255. Considering Shevchenko has looked invincible at 125 pounds, dominating a round against her is extremely impressive.

Prior to that fight, Maia had defeated JoJo Calderwood. Calderwood was actually set to challenge Shevchenko for the UFC title last June. However, a knee injury to Shevchenko pushed the fight back. Calderwood took a fight against Maia instead and Maia finished her in the first round.

UFC moment of truth for Evil Eye

We just saw Jessica Eye back at UFC 257 when she took on JoJo Calderwood. Calderwood was able to outpoint Eye and walk away with the decision victory. The loss dropped Jessica Eye to just 1-3 in her last four fights.

A few years ago, Eye was on the verge of getting cut by the UFC. She had gone 1-5 in the bantamweight division and was a crossroads in her career. That is when she dropped to 125 pounds and won three straight to earn herself a UFC title shot.

Eye was destroyed by Valentina Shevchenko and she really hasn’t been the same sense. At this time last year, Jessica Eye was the top ranked flyweight contender in the UFC. Now, she’s dropped down to eighth. If she loses to Maia on July 10th, it’s going to be quite the mountain to try and climb back to the top.

What’s next for JoJo Calderwood after UFC 257?

This past Saturday at UFC 257, Joanne “JoJo” Calderwood (15-5) took on Jessica Eye (15-9, 1 NC) on the PPV main card. Both of these flyweight contenders had a lot on the line on Saturday night.

Whoever won this fight was going to be in a position where they could get a top five opponent next. However, a loss would put them way back in the UFC flyweight division. Calderwood had a lot to prove on Saturday night.

Originally, JoJo Calderwood was supposed to get a UFC title shot back in June of last year. However, Valentina Shevchenko injured her knee and the fight was scrapped. The promotion offered to allow Calderwood to wait for the title shot.

However, Calderwood wanted to stay active. She said that she didn’t want a lengthy layoff leading into her first UFC title shot. With that in mind, she took a fight against Jennifer Maia. She was submitted in the first round and as a result, lost her UFC title shot.

At UFC 257, she had the chance to get back on track and that’s what she did. Over the course of three rounds, Calderwood used her effective kicks and knees to keep Eye at range. She mixed up her shots well and was able to walk away with a unanimous decision victory.

What’s next after UFC 257?

As mentioned, Calderwood was supposed to get a title shot last year. With this win at UFC 257, I think she’s right back near that conversation. However, she’s going to need one more win to get that shot at the title.

In looking at the rankings, I believe there are a couple of matchups that make a lot of sense for Calderwood. For Calderwood’s next fight, I would pair her up against either Katlyn Chookagian (15-4) or Lauren Murphy (14-4).

Both of those contenders are near a title shot, however, we already know that Jessica Andrade is getting the next crack at the UFC title. Chookagian and Murphy should honestly fight, however, Murphy doesn’t seem interested in that matchup.

I think the promotion should put Calderwood against one of those two contenders with a title shot on the line. Again, Calderwood was supposed to get the shot before Shevchenko was hurt. She still deserves to be in the conversation.

If the UFC pairs up Calderwood with one of those two, the winner would be in a great position to challenge the winner of Shevchenko – Andrade. It’ll be interesting to see how this situation at flyweight plays out.

After losing at UFC 257, what’s next for Jessica Eye?

This past Saturday at UFC 257, we saw a bit of a grudge match in the flyweight division. Former top contender, Jessica “Evil” Eye (15-9, 1 NC), took on Joanne “JoJo” Calderwood (15-5).

This fight between top contenders was going to be big for the UFC‘s flyweight division. Both ladies were entering this contest off of a loss so the winner would move back towards the top while the loser would really get shuffled back.

Eye and Calderwood had a very entertaining bout at UFC 257. For the most part, these two ladies stood and traded over the course of three rounds. Throughout the fight, Eye just appeared to be a step behind JoJo Calderwood.

Calderwood was able to use her kicks and her knees to really keep Eye from getting going on Saturday night. In the end, the judges unanimously gave the fight to Calderwood.

Jessica Eye was leaning on her boxing a little too much at UFC 257 and it cost her. She never really got any momentum going and was out of range when it comes to significant strikes most of the night. The former title challenger has now lost two straight.

What’s next after UFC 257?

In 2018, Jessica Eye moved to the UFC’s flyweight division. Finally, it appeared that she would be fighting in her natural weight class after struggling for years in the bantamweight division.

Right away, it looked like Eye belonged. In 2018, Jessica Eye went 3-0 which included a win over Katlyn Chookagian. Those wins led her to UFC 238 where she earned a shot at the champion, Valentina Shevchenko.

That is where things were derailed a bit. Eye was completely outclassed by Shevchenko and was knocked out cold in the second round by a headkick. Eye was able to bounce back at UFC 245 when she beat Viviane Araujo by decision.

However, 2020 was a rough year for Jessica Eye. She dealt with some health issues outside the cage and lost a decision to Cynthia Calvillo. That was her only fight in 2020 and now she’s just lost her first fight of 2021. After these losses, Eye has gone from first to eighth in the rankings.

So what does the UFC do with Jessica Eye? In looking at the rankings, I think a good next opponent for Jessica Eye would be Roxanne Modafferi (25-18). Modafferi just lost on this trip to Fight Island.

However, Modafferi is 3-3 in her last six fights. Her wins have come against Antonina Shevchenko, Maycee Barber, and Andrea Lee. Her losses have all come against some of the better flyweights in the UFC.

A matchup between these two ladies makes sense from a rankings perspective and it makes sense just looking at where they are currently at in their careers. Not sure if this is where the promotion goes, but it’s the fight that makes the most sense to me.

JoJo Calderwood outpoints Jessica Eye at UFC 257

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

Round 1

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.

Round 2

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.

Round 3

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)

UFC 257 Preview: Jessica Eye – JoJo Calderwood

At UFC 257 we will see a battle of two top ten flyweight contenders on the main card. Jessica “Evil” Eye (15-8, 1 NC) will take on Joanne “JoJo” Calderwood (14-5) in a key battle at women’s flyweight.

2020 certainly didn’t go as planned for JoJo Calderwood. Calderwood started the year believing that she was going to get a UFC title shot. In fact, the UFC booked her against Valentina Shevchenko (20-3) for the title in June.

However, Shevchenko ended up having a knee injury and the fight was delayed. Calderwood wanted to stay active and decided to take a fight against Jennifer Maia (18-7-1). This proved to be a massive mistake as she was submitted in the first round and lost her title shot.

Calderwood is just 1-2 in her last three fights. However, both of those losses came to former title challengers. She will look to bounce back against another title challenger tomorrow night.

Jessica Eye also didn’t have a 2020 that went according to plan. She ended 2019 strong with a big win over Viviane Araujo (10-2). However, she was then tasked with welcoming Cynthia Calvillo (9-2-1) to the flyweight division.

Eye didn’t look good at all in that fight and she lost a five round decision to Calvillo. That was the only time we saw Eye in the octagon in 2020. It’s worth noting that she’s still one of the UFC‘s best flyweights having only lost twice since moving up to 125.

UFC 257 Prediction

This is a very intriguing matchup and I could see both of these ladies getting their hands raised at UFC 257. When it comes to the striking, I believe that Calderwood is going to have the advantage on the feet tomorrow night.

I believe she has a much more diverse attack especially when she mixes in her kicks. Jessica Eye has some pretty decent boxing, but we really don’t see her mix it up that much. That said, she does strike in bunches would could be key at UFC 257.

I don’t think either of these ladies is going to score a finish tomorrow night. To me, this is going to be a contest of who scores the most. If we stay purely at boxing range, I think Eye can pull this decision out.

However, I’m actually going to lean the other way in my prediction. I believe that Calderwood is going to come out with something to prove tomorrow. Maybe look for her to utilize the clinch and mix in her kicks. This fight will be close, but I’ll lean Calderwood on the cards.

Prediction: JoJo Calderwood by Split Decision

UFC Booking Cynthia Calvillo – Katlyn Chookagian

The UFC is currently finalizing a big time flyweight contest for their November PPV. Per ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, the promotion is finalizing a flyweight contest between Cynthia Calvillo (9-1-1) and Katlyn Chookagian (14-4).

The fight will take place on November 21st at UFC 255. The co-headliner that night is the women’s flyweight title fight between Valentina Shevchenko and Jennifer Maia. This is a big matchup for both ladies who have their eyes on climbing the ranks.

We just saw Chookagian a few weeks ago when she took on Jessica Andrade at UFC Fight Island 6. Chookagian was looking for his second consecutive win as she was hoping to get another shot at UFC champion, Valentina Shevchenko.

However, she ran into a buzzsaw in Andrade. Despite looking like the much bigger fighter, Chookagian was bullied in the matchup. Late in the first round, Andrade landed a vicious hook to the body and a follow up that closed the show.

It was a devastating loss for Chookagian. Now, she will look to get back into the win column with a victory over Calvillo. With Calvillo being ranked fourth in the division, a win would put Chookagian right back into the title picture.

UFC 255 Flyweight Clash

Cynthia Calvillo will be making her second appearance in the UFC‘s flyweight division. She made her debut back in June when she headlined a card against former top contender, Jessica Eye. That night, Calvillo used her wrestling to get the victory.

At the time, Eye was the top ranked flyweight contender in the UFC. It was a big statement for Calvillo to pick up the victory that night. If she’s able to defeat Chookagian it would give her two wins over two top contenders in the flyweight division.

Whoever comes out on top at UFC 255 has to be in the title picture. Calvillo to me has more to gain from this matchup since she’s already coming off of a win. Chookagian has the most to lose however, given that if she loses to Calvillo she would be on a two fight losing streak looking at a steep climb back up the division.

UFC books JoJo Calderwood – Jessica Eye

The UFC is planning on a big time women’s flyweight fight on their January 23rd fight night card. First reported by MMA DNA, JoJo Calderwood (14-5) will take on Jessica Eye (15-8, 1 NC) in a battle of two top six UFC flyweights.

For Calderwood, the fight against Eye is going to be a big chance for her to bounce back. Calderwood was originally supposed to get a UFC title shot back in June. However, due to an injury to the champion, the fight was called off.

Calderwood wanted to stay active so she took a short notice fight against Jennifer Maia. This proved to be a big mistake as Maia submitted her in the first round. Maia was awarded Calderwood’s UFC title shot for her submission victory.

This fight is also a big chance for Jessica Eye to bounce back. Eye is just a couple of fights removed from her shot at Valentina Shevchenko. Eye won against Viviane Araujo, however, she was not successful in her last outing.

She welcomed Cynthia Calvillo to the UFC‘s flyweight division back in June. Calvillo used a steady wrestling attack to stifle and defeat Eye by decision. It was a bad loss for the former top contender who also failed to make weight for the fight.

Sizing up this UFC matchup

This has all the makings for a really fun contest in the UFC‘s flyweight division. Calderwood has really good standup and she uses a variety of kicks and spinning techniques. Her style is pretty entertaining to watch when fights are standing.

Eye has very solid boxing of her own. Whenever she feels comfortable and in range, she’s a very tough opponent for anyone in the UFC‘s flyweight division. She’s going to have to be very active with her hands in this contest.

Whoever wins this fight could be right back in title contention. However, the loser of this contest is going to be looking at a steep climb to get back to the top. This should be a fantastic matchup with a lot on the line for both contenders.

UFC: Jessica Eye welcomes Jessica Andrade to the flyweight division on Oct. 17

The former UFC strawweight champion has decided to move up in weight. Jessica Andrade (20-8) is moving up to flyweight and taking on former title challenger Jessica Eye (15-8, 1 NC) on October 17th per ESPN.

As Okamoto’s tweet says, Andrade will be competing in her third weight class in the UFC. After starting her career at 135 pounds, she dropped to 115 when that weight class started. Now, it’s on to flyweight.

Eye welcomes another to the UFC flyweight division

For the second consecutive fight, Jessica Eye is going to welcome a former strawweight contender to the flyweight division. She took on Cynthia Calvillo back in June.

In that fight, Eye was not able to get past the wrestling of Calvillo. It was just Eye’s second loss since she had moved to flyweight back in 2018. The other of course being the knockout loss to current UFC flyweight champion, Valentina Shevchenko.

For Andrade, she’s jumping right into the deep end of the UFC‘s flyweight division taking on the fifth ranked contender. We last saw Andrade compete at UFC 251 on Fight Island.

Andrade took a tough loss against former champion, Rose Namajunas. Despite being outclassed early on, Andrade came on strong and really put on a clinic late. However, it was a little too late.

Many people believe that 125 pounds is the ideal weight class for Andrade. She carries a lot of muscle from her days of competing at 135 pounds. Now, she won’t have to worry about cutting the 10 extra pounds.

Andrade might become the best version of herself in the UFC‘s flyweight division. A win for either her or Eye has a big impact on the flyweight division. While I don’t think the winner will be next in line, I think the winner will get a title eliminator in their next outing.

 

UFC on ESPN 10 Recap: Cynthia Calvillo wins flyweight debut over Jessica Eye

UFC on ESPN 10 was the third event held at the UFC‘s APEX, and the main event featured a women’s flyweight contest between Jessica “Evil” Eye (15-7) and Cynthia Calvillo (8-1-1). The card didn’t look incredibly strong on paper, but the fights were better than advertised tonight.

Calvillo impresses in flyweight debut

After struggling to make the strawweight limit of 115 pounds, Cynthia Calvillo moved up to flyweight. Standing across the octagon from her was the number one ranked flyweight in the world, Jessica Eye. Throughout the first round, both women seemed to be feeling each other out. Eye controlled the center of the cage, and seemed content to counter strike as Calvillo moved forward. Calvillo was able to land a few shots with some decent speed. Calvillo was able to land two flush head kicks early, but neither had enough power on it to do damage. Eye was able to catch Calvillo several times coming in, but Calvillo used her speed to land her shots as well. The first round was a very competitive striking match with neither woman trying to take the other down.

Calvillo came out in the second round with a little more pep in her step, but Eye continued to hold the center of the cage landing solid straight punches. About a minute into the second round, Calvillo finally shot for the first takedown of the fight. Eye stuffed the initial attempt, but Calvillo did a really good job of chaining her takedown attempts and got Eye to the ground. With about two minutes left in the round, Calvillo was able to secure Eye’s back. Calvillo was able to hold the back position for the rest of the round. The third round started a lot like the first round. Calvillo tried to use her speed on her feet while Eye held the center of the octagon. Both women landed some decent shots, but the round was won by Calvillo with about a minute left in the round when she was able to secure another takedown. Calvillo was able to secure Eye’s back for the second consecutive round.

In the fourth round, Calvillo was able to secure another takedown. For the third consecutive round, Calvillo was able to get to Eye’s back once the fight got to the ground. However, with about two minutes left in the round, Eye was able to get back to her feet. She spent the rest of the round chasing down Calvillo. Eye was able to land some solid shots which made the round a lot closer than it should have been. The fifth and final round was contested completely on the feet. Calvillo’s speed seemed to give Eye problems in the fifth as Calvillo continued to land the cleaner shots. With about two minutes left in the fight, Eye started pressing forward and sitting down on her punches. After getting hit with some clean shots, Calvillo was able to land a takedown on Eye. That takedown likely won Calvillo the round. On my personal scorecard, I had Calvillo up four rounds to one heading to the scorecards. The judges agreed with our scorecard giving Calvillo the unanimous decision victory (49-46, 49-46, 48-47).

Vettori Subs Roberson in the first

The co-main event of the evening was the fight that had the most heat on it leading into the evening. UFC middleweights Karl Roberson (9-2) and Marvin Vettori (14-4-1) were originally scheduled to fight a weeks ago. However, a tough weight cut, Roberson was not able to fight. Vettori confronted Roberson in their hotel lobby after the cancellation. Roberson then missed weight yesterday which added even more fuel to the fire. Both men entered the evening on two-fight winning streaks. In the first round, both men seemed to respect the others power early. About halfway through the round, the two men engaged in some grappling, and Roberson was able to get Vettori’s back for a few second. Vettori was then able to secure a takedown, and he almost secured a choke several times. With about one minute left in the round, Vettori landed some huge ground in pound which rocked Roberson. Roberson gave up his back, and Vettori secured a rear-naked choke which ended the fight. The third straight win for Vettori after losing a split decision to current UFC middlweight champion, Israel Adesanya. Vettori should be expecting a top-15 opponent in his next fight.

Fili takes close decision over Jourdain

One of the more anticipated fights of the evening was between UFC featherweights, Andre Fili (21-7) and Charles Jourdain (10-3). Fili came forward immediately and the two fighters looked to engage early. Jourdain and Fili exchanged some heavy shots in the first minute of the fight. Throughout the first round neither man tried to initiate any grappling as both men seemed content on a stand-up war. Fili seemed to be landing the more powerful shots throughout the round, but Jourdain floored Fili with about a minute left in the first round. Fili was able to work his way up to his feet after getting rocked. Both men continued to exchange the rest of the round, but with about ten seconds left, Fili landed a huge takedown and closed the round on top.

The second round started the exact same way as Fili immediately pressed the action to start. The two men continued to throw heavy shots at each other, but Fili continued to control the center of the octagon. Jourdain seemed content on hanging back and exploding forward with his combinations. While both men had their moments in the second round, Fili was more aggressive and seemed to be getting off first in the exchanges throughout the round. Jourdain landed some nice leg-kicks near the end of the round, but Fili landed a takedown which seemingly clinched the round for him. The third round featured some heavy exchanges early, but Fili was able to secure his third takedown about halfway through the round. Jourdain was able to get back to his feet, and he landed some heavy shots in the last couple of minutes. Fili did a good job of landing from the outside, but Jourdain was throwing smoke with everything he threw. Fili seemingly clinched the fight in the final twenty seconds when he was able to secure another takedown. In the end the judges gave the split decision victory to Andre Fili (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Espinosa hands De La Rosa his fourth straight loss

Jordan Espinosa (15-7-1) and Mark De La Rosa (11-5) was a fight where both men had their back against the wall in the UFC. Both men entered the cage tonight with multiple fight losing streaks desperately needing a win. One of the fighters really stood out in this contest. Espinosa was able to right the ship tonight giving De La Rosa his fourth consecutive loss. Espinosa was able to use his speed on the feet to keep his distance and land some solid shots. It became very apparent early that the only way De La Rosa would win this fight is by taking Espinosa down. De La Rosa was not able to land a single takedown, and he got rocked in the first round while he was on a single leg. Overall this was a pretty dominant performance from Espinosa, and the judges agreed giving him the decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26). One has to wonder if this is the last time we see De La Rosa in the UFC for a while.

Merab Dvalishvili spoils Gustavo Lopez’s UFC Debut

It was quite the eventful week for UFC bantamweight, Merab Dvalishvili (11-4). Just a couple of days ago, Dvalishvili was expecting to fight former title challenger, Ray Borg. However, due to a family emergency, Borg had to pull out of the fight. Combate Americas bantamweight champion, Gustavo Lopez (11-5), volunteered to take the fight in his UFC debut on short notice. Lopez has serious knockout power and a decent overall skillset, but I was concerned in this matchup going in with little to no prep. In our UFC on ESPN 10 preview, I said that Dvalishvili needed to lean heavily on the wrestling in this matchup, and that is exactly what he did. After entertaining the striking early, Dvalishvili focused most of the fight on taking things to the ground. Without training, it was hard for Lopez to stop Dvalishvili from taking him down. Lopez was able to land some solid shots throughout the fight, but nothing ever threatened to end the evening for Dvalishvili. Dvalishvili stuck to his game plan, and landed a UFC bantamweight record, 13 takedowns en route to a unanimous decision victory (30-26, 30-26, 30-25).

Final Takeaway from UFC on ESPN 10

This fight card received a lot of criticism throughout the week, but I think that the card delivered. I was very impressed with the flyweight debut of Cynthia Calvillo. I think after this win a fight with Katelyn Chookagian would make sense. Calvillo should jump right into the top five of the flyweight rankings after beating the previously top ranked contender, Jessica Eye. Overall, it was a very solid night of fights, and we have a new contender in the UFC’s flyweight division.

UFC on ESPN 10 Preview: Jessica Eye welcomes Cynthia Calvillo to flyweight

The UFC is on fire right now with a ton of hot news and fights every weekend. With that, the UFC hosts it’s third event at the APEX this weekend for UFC on ESPN 10. The event will be headlined by the popular, Cynthia Calvillo (8-1-1), who is making her flyweight debut against former title challenger, Jessica “Evil” Eye (15-7). While the main event choice has received it’s fair share of criticism, there are some solid fights on the card Saturday night. With that in mind, let’s dive into the card and breakdown some of the fights scheduled for this Saturday.

UFC flyweight debut for Calvillo against “Evil” Eye

Cynthia Calvillo was a very bright prospect in the UFC’s strawweight division. Calvillo made her debut back in 2017, and she won her first three fights in the UFC including a win over Joanne Calderwood who is next in line to fight champion, Valentina Shevchenko. Calvillo then ran into Carla Esparza who gave Calvillo her first career loss. Following that fight, Calvillo’s biggest adversary was her weight. She would miss weight multiple times which is why she is now moving up to flyweight. Calvillo is training at AKA, and I expect to see some improvement in her striking in this fight. She has pretty good wrestling, and I think the lack of a weight cut is going to help her stay fresher throughout the fight.

Jessica Eye has had a very interesting career in the UFC. When you look at her UFC record of 5-6-1, you would not think of her as a top fighter. However, since dropping down to flyweight from 135 pounds, Eye has seen her fortunes in the UFC change. She’s gone 4-1 since the drop with her only loss coming by way of a vicious head kick to the champion, Shevchenko. Eye has some pretty good hands is the type of fighter who always seem to do just enough in the judges eyes to get a decision. She doesn’t have knockout power, but she lands at a decent enough clip to win decisions.

To me this fight is going to come down to how Calvillo looks in this new weight class. I believe that she has more tools than Eye does, but it’ll be interesting to see her go up against someone stronger than she is. We are talking about two women who used to fight two weight classes apart. If Calvillo is able to mix her takedowns in with her striking, I think she can walk away with a decision. If the fight stays at range, I think Eye can have a classic performance where she just does enough in the judges eyes. The odds are even for this fight, and I can see why. I don’t see either woman getting a finish, so it will be a coin toss in the hands of the judges. I’m going to go with Calvillo here by the slightest of margins.

Prediction: Cynthia Calvillo by Split Decision

Karl Roberson vs Marvin Vettori

The co-main event of the evening is the fight that I’m looking forward to the most. We have Marvin Vettori (14-4-1) taking on Karl Roberson (9-2). These two men were supposed to fight a month ago, but due to Roberson getting sick from his weight cut, the fight was called off. A video went viral of a furious Vettori going after Roberson in their hotel lobby. These two men do not like each other, and they finally get to fight. Vettori has looked really good in his last couple of fights where he’s won against Cezar Ferreira and Andrew Sanchez. Vettori is the kind of guy who is going to constantly press forward in a fight. He’s pretty well-rounded with solid striking and a really good wrestling base. He’s got great submission skills which might come in handy during this fight.

Last year, Roberson dropped down from 205 to 185 and has won his first two fights at middleweight. Roberson has very good striking, and his power is going to translate really well at this weight class. The one knock on Roberson is his lack of ground game which could really hurt him in this fight. Expect Vettori to push the pace a lot in this fight, and for Roberson to win, his counter striking is going to need to be on point. If this fight stays on the feet, I definitely think that Roberson can win, but I see this fight getting taken to the ground throughout the fight. A popular pick in this fight is Vettori by decision, but I’m going to say that Vettori gets in a dominant position in the second round, and finishes the fight with an arm-triangle choke.

Prediction: Marvin Vettori by Submission (Arm-Triangle Choke) – Round 2

Merab Dvalishvili vs Gustavo Lopez

The third fight of the main card features a catchweight bout between Combate Americas batamweight champion, Gustavo Lopez (11-4), and Merab Dvalishvili (10-4). Dvalishvili was originally scheduled to fight Ray Borg on Saturday night, but due to personal reasons, Borg pulled out of the fight. Lopez decided to step in on short notice to fight Dvalishvili. Because Lopez is stepping in on such short notice, they have decided to make the fight a catchweight fight. Lopez is making his UFC debut on the heels of three consecutive first round finishes. In eleven career victories, Lopez has only gone to a decision once. Lopez has a great overall game, and I’m very interested to watch him make his debut on Saturday night, even if he didn’t have a camp to prepare. Him stepping in like this shows the kind of fighter that Gustavo Lopez is.

Dvalishvili has looked pretty good in his last three outings. Dvalishvili has won all three of his fights by unanimous decision. Dvalishvili is very strong and has a very strong wrestling base. With a lack of a camp, this matchup favors Dvalishvili by a lot. With no camp to prepare, you can’t imagine that Lopez’s cardio is at peak condition. Dvalishvili needs to really engage in the grappling early on in this one. Expect Lopez to come out very fast early on, but I’m not sure he will be able to stop Dvalishvili from taking him down. Even if he can keep Dvalishvili off of him in the first round, the last two are going to be a handful. I like Lopez, but it’s hard to see him pulling off a victory on such short notice over Dvalishvili.

Prediction: Merab Dvalishvili by Unanimous Decision

Andre Fili vs Charles Jourdain

The second fight of the main card is a very interesting matchup between UFC veteran, Andre Fili (20-7) and Canadian prospect, Charles Jourdain (10-2). Fili is a very solid fighter who has been in the UFC for a long time. Fili made his UFC debut back in 2013, and for the most part, has only taken losses against top level competition. You could consider him a little bit of a gate keeper in the featherweight division. Five of his six losses have been to guys like Max Holloway, Yair Rodriguez, Calvin Katter, Michael Johnson, and Sodiq Yusuff. Fili fights very well from distance, and he does a great job at mixing hin some grappling. He’s going to be a very tough matchup for the 24-year-old Canadian.

Jourdain shocked everyone in his last UFC appearance by knocking out Doo Ho Choi in Korea. Jourdain has ten professional wins, and he’s finished all ten of those wins. Jourdain has really good power, and he’s got some solid submission skills to go along with it. From what I’ve seen, he does lack a little in the wrestling game which might hurt him in this matchup, but overall, he’s a very bright prospect for the UFC. This is a very tough matchup for Jourdain. While Jourdain has very good power, Fili is one of the tougher guys to put away. Yusuff, Katter, and former champion, Max Holloway, couldn’t put Fili away. I think Fili is going to use his five-inch reach advantage well in this fight to stay on the outside. Jourdain’s best chance is to catch Fili coming in. Fili is going to mix in some wrestling in, and I think he’s going to be able to take Jourdain down a few times throughout the fight.

Prediction: Andre Fili by Unanimous Decision

Jordan Espinosa vs Mark De La Rosa

The main card on ESPN kicks off with a flyweight contest between Jordan Espinosa (14-7) and Mark De La Rosa (11-4). This is a very important fight for both men as they both enter this fight on multiple fight losing streaks. De La Rosa bounced back from his UFC debut loss to Tim Elliot by winning back to back fights which got him a shot at top contender, Alex Perez. Starting with the Perez fight, it’s been all downhill for De La Rosa, losing three consecutive fights including getting knocked out in his last performance. De La Rosa needs to make this fight ugly to win. He’s got a decent all-around game, but he doesn’t really shine in any one area which might be his problem in this matchup.

Espinosa grabbed a win in his UFC debut against Eric Shelton, but since then, he’s lost back to back fights by getting submitted in the first round. Espinosa has really good speed, and very good wrestling. I think Espinosa has a clear advantage going into this fight with his speed and overall game. I think he’s going to need to keep this fight clean by keeping De La Rosa down when he takes him down, or picking him apart using his speed on the feet. I just think when it comes down to it that Espinosa has more paths to victory. I think he snaps his two-fight losing streak by handing De La Rosa his fourth consecutive loss in this one.

Prediction: Jordan Espinosa by Unanimous Decision

UFC of ESPN 10 Outlook

This is definitely not the strongest card that Dana White and the UFC has put together, but there are some intriguing matches on this card. I’m very interested in watching the Fili/Jourdain matchup as well as the co-main event. I would not go into this card expecting to see a lot of finishes. Yes, it will likely be a long night of decisions, but I think we are going to see a couple of really good and action packed fights along the way.