UFC Fight Night: Eye vs. Calvillo Preview

A preview of Saturday’s UFC Fight Night card, set to take place in Las Vegas.

Updated: June 11, 2020 • 4:25 PM ET

Las Vegas will host this weekend's UFC Fight Night event.

Main eventing in a women’s flyweight bout, No. 1 contender Jessica Eye will face No. 10 Cynthia Calvillo this Saturday during the UFC’s third consecutive event at their Apex facility in Las Vegas.

Eye will attempt to secure her second win in a row after losing in devastating fashion to champion Valentina Shevchenko by first-round head kick knockout in a title fight last June. Eye defeated Viviane Araújo by unanimous decision in December, only after controversially missing weight, which forced the bout to be fought at a catchweight.

After being on the wrong end of four decisions in a row at bantamweight, the 33-year-old Eye is 4-1 in her last five fights since returning to flyweight. She has fought in the UFC since 2013 against some of the best female fighters, which has helped her gain tremendous experience en route to her No. 1 ranking. Eye has had hard-fought battles with the likes of Bethe Correia, Sara McMann, Julianna Pena, Miesha Tate and Alexis Davis with key victories over Katlyn Chookagian, Jessica-Rose Clark and Leslie Smith.

She knows the advantages she has heading into her fight with Calvillo.

“Let’s just look at basic genetics and statistics that we know,” Eye recently told MMA News. “She’s 5-foot-4, I’m 5-foot-6. She has a 64-inch reach, I have a 66, so there’s obviously going to be a noticeable size difference but I think that with a lot of us women, is we train with men all the time.

“We’re always used to a size difference, so we’re always used to kind of that stuff. So, I don’t foresee it being a huge issue for her, the size difference, but maybe it will be, maybe It’ll just be so much that I’ll be so overpowering for her, which is ideally what we want.”

Eye is willing to do whatever it takes to get back to a title shot.

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“I’ll do whatever needs to be done,” Eye said. “It’s a win-win situation for me either way. If I get another fight outside (a title shot), it’s just more experience and more money in my pocket for me to be ready for that next chance. Or, she gets beat by JoJo, we really don’t know.

“I’m kind of just sitting back, working on myself and just paying attention to my own life. If I get back to the title in another year, it’s another year. If it’s in a couple of months, it’ll be in a couple of months. There’s not really much I can do, even as much as I want to b*tch and complain when I don’t like things, I don’t have much say so. Let’s face it, JoJo [Calderwood] has earned her opportunity against Valentina, so be it. She deserves to get her chance.”

Calvillo (8-1-1 record) is coming off a majority draw against Marina Rodriguez in December, while also having key victories over Cortney Casey and Joanne Calderwood. Her only loss came to former strawweight champion Carla Esparza in 2017.

After having her own issues making weight at 115 pounds, the 32-year-old Calvillo will make her first return to flyweight since her pro debut in 2016. Despite her past issues, Calvillo will attempt to make the most of the opportunity in her first headlining fight.

“It’s strange times right now,” Calvillo recently said on What the Heck. “I’m not even sure if I probably would’ve got this opportunity had it not been because of COVID, just because I know some people were worried about taking certain fights. There’s a lot of matchups that got mixed up, a lot of things got switched up.

“They’re just trying to make fights happen right now, and I think that’s great. I’m extremely appreciative…It is what it is. You might not agree with it, but it’s crazy times and I’m gonna run with it, and I’m gonna go out there and I’m going to put on the performance of my life, especially going up to 125. These weight cuts are going to be easy money for me. I can take these short notice fights. and I’m excited to be able to do that again. I’m taking Dana up on that offer to have at least four fights this year. So, I’m gonna get that done — main event, no main event.”

Co-main event

Saturday’s co-main event will be a middleweight fight between Karl Roberson and Marvin Vettori.

Roberson and Vettori were scheduled to face off in May, but the fight was cancelled less than 24 hours before the May 13 event after Roberson experienced complications from his weight cut. His coach later said he was diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis, which breaks down muscle tissue.

Roberson’s removal from the fight led to a now well-known video within the MMA community of Vettori unleashing a verbal onslaught at Roberson in a hotel lobby. Despite Roberson’s recent health setbacks, though, he has won two straight fights and is 5-2 in the UFC.

Roberson most recently defeated UFC newcomer Roman Kopylov by third-round submission in November. The 29-year-old also has wins over Jack Marshman, Darren Stewart and Ryan Spann, and has proven to be a game fighter after competing three times in 2019 with one of the fights being a move up to light heavyweight on short notice against former title challenger Glover Teixeira.

Vettori is also on a two-fight winning streak, most recently defeating Andrew Sanchez by unanimous decision in October. The Italian fighter is 4-2-1 in the UFC with one of the losses being a close split-decision to middleweight champion Israel Adesanya in 2018.

At 26 years old, Vettori already has 19 professional fights under his belt with 14 wins, 10 coming by finish. He has only lost four times, all coming by narrow decisions. Including Sanchez, Vettori has another key victory in the UFC over Cezar Ferreira by unanimous decision last July.

The winner of Saturday’s fight could be welcomed into the top 15 of the middleweight rankings by the start of next week.

 

The rest of the main card on ESPN+ at 9 p.m. ET

Bantamweight bout - Merab Dvalishvili vs. Ray Borg

Featherweight bout - Andre Fili vs. Charles Jourdain

Bantamweight bout - No. 13 Jordan Espinosa vs. Mark de la Rosa

 

ESPN Prelims at 6 p.m. ET

Lightweight bout - Charles Rosa vs. Kevin Aguilar

Women’s bantamweight bout - Julia Avila vs. Gina Mazany

Flyweight bout - Tyson Nam vs. Zarrukh Adashev

Featherweight bout - Jordan Griffin vs. Darrick Minner

Welterweight bout - Anthony Ivy vs. Christian Aguilera

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