Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Flyweight talents Jessica Eye and Cynthia Calvillo will clash TONIGHT (June 13, 2020) at UFC on ESPN 10 from inside UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Do not ask me how this bout wound up our main event for tonight, because I cannot explain it. Nevertheless, Eye recovered from her disastrous title shot last time out, rebounding with a strong decision win against one of her division’s better prospects. Eye is in a difficult position with nowhere to climb, so all “Evil” can really do is keep winning and hope for the best.
Alternatively, Calvillo is a new introduction to the Flyweight division. The submission ace was a contender at 115 lbs., but she’s hoping to capitalize on a relatively empty 125-pound division and quickly make a run at the strap.
Let’s take a closer look at the keys to victory for each woman:
Record: 15-7 (1)
Key Wins: Katlyn Chookagian (UFC 231), Viviane Araujo (UFC 245), Jessica Rose-Clark (UFC Fight Night 132), Leslie Smith (UFC 180)
Key Losses: Valentina Shevchenko (UFC 238), Miesha Tate (UFC on FOX 16), Alexis Davis (UFC 170), Bethe Correia (UFC 203),
Keys to Victory: Eye is fundamentally sound everywhere, pushes a solid pace, and is a tough competitor. The most notable aspect of her game is her sharp jab, which definitely separates her from the pack and helps her control the flow of fights.
This bout is pretty simple to analyze. Calvillo is a quality grappler, and Eye has struggled with getting controlled from top position in the past. Eye wants a kickboxing match, and in order to avoid the mat, she has to manage distance. That begins with the aforementioned jab. Calvillo moves her feet well, so Eye’s early focus should be on finding distance with the jab. Don’t over-reach and open up takedowns! Steadily walking Calvillo down with jabs is the safer move.
Calvillo likes to time her opponents with quick combinations, but this is where Eye’s experience on the feet should help a lot. If she can fire back with combinations immediately, it will help limit Calvillo’s offense and keep Eye ahead on the scorecards.
Key Wins: Joanne Calderwood (UFC Fight Night 113), Cortney Casey (UFC on ESPN 1), Poliana Botelho (UFC Fight Night 140), Montana Stewart (LFA 1)
Key Losses: Carla Esparza (UFC 219)
Keys to Victory: Calvillo’s jiu-jitsu and scrambling skills are excellent. She excels at catching a kick or timing a double leg with a trip to gain top position, at which point she tends to be in complete control of her opponents.
Three of Calvillo’s UFC wins come via rear naked choke.
As a former longtime training partner of Calvillo, I cannot tell you how many times now I have glared at the television while Calvillo chooses to kickbox rather than wrestle. It cost her in both the Esparza loss and draw with Rodriguez, and it is once again a key to victory in this bout: she must play to her strengths!
Eye is a high-volume striker, which means she engages a lot. All those engagements mean opportunities for Calvillo, who can drastically change the fight with a well-timed shot. Calvillo has to throw punches to encourage Eye to throw back, wait for that response, then duck beneath those punches and drag this fight to the mat.
It may not be an ideal main event, but this fight remains an important bout at 125 pounds.
As mentioned, Eye is in a very difficult position. To put it bluntly, Shevchenko handled her with ease, which makes arguing for a rematch nearly impossible. Given that it’s also incredibly difficult to see Shevchenko coughing up her Flyweight strap any time soon, Eye really has nowhere to go.
All she can do is keep winning.
Calvillo, on the other hand, is completely new to Flyweight competition. However, she’s already defeated the current title contender (Joanne Calderwood) and has been granted a fight with the top-ranked Flyweight. If Calvillo can make a successful debut at 125-pounds, she’ll immediately enter her name in title talks.
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At UFC on ESPN 10, Jessica Eye and Cynthia Calvillo will square off in the main event. Which woman will earn the victory?