MMAOB staff writer Adam Martin takes a deeper look at the main event of UFC Fight Night 172, a five-round women’s flyweight bout between Jessica Eye and Cynthia Calvillo. The event takes place on Saturday, June 13 at the UFC Apex in las Vegas, Nevada.
Jessica Eye (-120)
Eye (15-7, 1 NC) is the No. 1 ranked women’s flyweight in the UFC. The 33-year-old American is 5-6, 1 NC overall in the UFC, with notable wins over Katlyn Chookagian and Leslie Smith. After struggling as a bantamweight with a 1-5, 1 NC record, Eye has excelled since moving up to flyweight, going 4-1 with her lone loss coming to the shin of UFC women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko. Eye is primarily a volume striker who looks to outpoint her opponents for victory. Out of her 15 career wins, 11 of them have come by decision. Her wrestling is generally good enough to keep her fights on the feet and at flyweight, she has been able to outstrike the majority of her opponents. However, her inability to finish fights limits her ceiling in the sport.
Cynthia Calvillo (+100)
Calvillo (8-1-1) is the No. 10 ranked women’s strawweight and she is moving up in weight for this fight. The 32-year-old American has gone 5-1-1 overall in the UFC with notable wins over Cortney Casey and Joanne Calderwood. Calvillo has an excellent ground game and if she is able to get her opponents to the mat she can finish them, as her five career wins by stoppage attest to. She was unable to consistently make the 115lbs limit so she has been forced to move up a weight class now. With a win here against Eye, she could very well jump into title contention in a shallow division.
Fight Breakdown: While this isn’t your typical UFC main event, it is still an interesting fight to break down. Outside of Shevchenko, Eye has been able to beat everyone in her path at 125lbs, while Calvillo was a really good fighter at 115lbs who grew out of the weight class. The fact Calvillo is moving up in weight is certainly a variable that is difficult to handicap as we don’t know how well she will fare at her new weight class, whereas we have seen Eye is very solid at flyweight. The fact the fight is set for five rounds when neither woman has done before also makes it tough. Having said that, I slightly favor Calvillo because, despite the potential size advantage for Eye, I believe Calvillo is the better mixed martial artist. Her ability to get the fight to the ground is something that I think can come into play here. We have seen Eye get taken down by her last few opponents and if Calvillo is able to get this fight to the mat, I believe she has the chance to submit Eye. The odds for this fight are close for a reason and I wouldn’t go crazy either way. But I do lean towards the slight underdog here in Calvillo to pick up the biggest win of her career and emerge as a contender at 125lbs.
Prediction: Cynthia Calvillo wins by submission