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.

UFC Vegas 10 Recap: Michelle Waterson edges Angela Hill in an instant classic

Tonight, the UFC hosted it’s tenth fight night from their APEX facility. It was a night full of fantastic matchups. In the main event of the evening, there was a highly anticipated matchup between strawweights Michelle Waterson (17-8) and Angela Hill (12-8)

The two top 15 UFC strawweights were looking to take the next step towards title contention tonight. Both were coming off of losses in their last UFC contest, but a win for either, would be a big step in the right direction.

Waterson and Hill deliver in an instant classic

Both of these ladies came to fight tonight. The two top UFC strawweight contenders both had big moments in the fight. I was blown away early on by Angela Hill’s hands early on in the fight. In the first round, her hands looked extremely crisp.

Waterson then came back in the second round with some solid adjustments. Hill was still landing big shots, but Waterson shifted to using more of her hands which found her some success. Both ladies were putting on an incredible pace while throwing big shots at the other in the first two rounds.

In the third round, Hill really started letting her hands go. She bloodied Waterson’s nose, but the Karate Hottie landed a big takedown that changed the course of the round. Waterson dominated the third round with her superior grappling.

In the fourth round, Waterson really tried to get the fight back to the ground. However, Hill did a fantastic job of defending. Both ladies had some really good moments on the feet in the fourth round. I had the fight even going into the final round.

The final round featured these top UFC strawweights not giving an inch. Both ladies were throwing everything that they had trying to put a stamp on the victory. The final round was razor close, but I did lean towards Hill with her work in the final minute.

The judges ended up scoring the fight for Michelle Waterson (49-46, 48-47, 47-48). Hill has now lost two straight razor close split decisions that could have gone her way. A massive win for Michelle Waterson who snaps her two fight losing streak.

UFC Vegas 10 Results

UFC Vegas 10 delivered a very solid night of fights. One of the standouts was Bobby Green (27-10-1), who won his third fight in the last three months. Green defeated Alan Patrick by unanimous decision. Last year, Green seemed content with walking away from the sport, and now he’s on a massive career resurgence in 2020.

Andrea Lee (11-5) and Roxanne Modafferi (25-17) had an extremely entertaining fight. The two top ten UFC flyweight contenders went back and forth over three rounds. In the end, Modafferi was able to secure a unanimous decision. The third straight close loss for Lee.

In the co-main event of the evening, Ottman Azaitar (13-0) blew me away. The bulldozer came in undefeated, but he was an underdog to Khama Worthy (16-7) who had won seven straight fights. Azaitar ran through Worthy knocking him out in the first round.

 

UFC Vegas 10: Michelle Waterson and Angela Hill take center stage

Throughout 2020, the UFC has been hit with some cancellations due to COVID-19. However, one that stings really bad is losing the main event for tomorrow night’s fight night. Thiago Santos and Glover Teixiera were due to battle in a title eliminator.

However, after Teixiera tested positive, the UFC pushed the fight back. Now, the UFC has bumped up the co-main event featuring Michelle Waterson (17-8) and Angela Hill (12-8). While not the biggest fight on paper, it’s still expected to deliver a solid fight.

Michelle Waterson vs Angela Hill

This main event pairs two of the top 13 fighters in the women’s strawweight division against each other. For The Karate Hottie, she’s looking to break her current two fight losing streak in the UFC. Both losses came against former champions.

Between 2018 and 2019, Michelle Waterson went on a run in the UFC. She won three consecutive fights including one against former title challenger Karolina Kowalkiewicz. Following that winning streak, she got a shot against the former champion, Joanna Jedrzejczyk.

Waterson came up short in that fight as she was outclassed on the feet by the former champion. Then she suffered a split decision loss to Carla Esparza at UFC 249. I personally scored the fight for Waterson. Nevertheless, she will look to break her losing streak.

Angela Hill has really turned a corner over the last 12 months. A year ago today, Hill’s record was 9-7, but she went on a three fight winning streak before fighting Claudia Gadelha back in May. Many people thought she should have won the fight, but she lost a split decision.

To me, this is really a matchup of top ten strawweights. Hill is better than the 13th best in the division. Waterson has put together a solid UFC career so far, but she’s always been fighting above her natural weight class since the promotion doesn’t have atomweight.

Waterson is headlining her third UFC event, and while I think she’s very talented, I think this is a tough matchup. Hill has been doing a very good job of using her lengthy punches in her recent fights. A strategy that should really help her in this one score some points.

I expect both of these ladies to have their moments in this fight. For Waterson, she cannot sit back too much. She needs to be active with kicks to score as much as she can. I just think Hill is ready to take that next step in the strawweight division.

Prediction: Angela Hill by Unanimous Decision

The Rest of UFC Vegas 10

While not the sexiest card the UFC has put together, there are definitely some solid fights up and down the card. I’m anxious to watch the fight between top ten flyweights, Roxanne Modafferi (24-17) and Andrea Lee (11-4). The co-main with Khama Worthy (16-6) and undefeated Ottman Azaitar (12-0) should be fantastic.

The prelims also have some solid action including Roosevelt Roberts (10-2) taking on Matt Frevola (8-1-1). Those two have had some back and forth. Again, not the biggest card in terms of name recognition, but the UFC is putting forth a card that should deliver on action.