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As the rest of the American sporting world starts to emerge from the pandemic, with start dates ranging from mid to late July, the UFC continues humming along putting on events nearly every week. Since their first mid-pandemic event now over a month ago, the company has put on five successful promotions with little to no reported outbreaks or other issues.
Once again, the UFC APEX will play host to this weekend’s events, with the company having fighters travel to their home in Las Vegas from all over the country.
Despite being limited to fighters already in the United States due to international travel restrictions, Dana White has done his best to put on quality cards and Saturday’s UFC Fight Night: Eye vs. Calvillo is no different.
In what is one of the most evenly matched headliners of the year thus far for the UFC, streamed entirely on ESPN+ for all subscribers, let’s take a closer look at the main event of the evening Saturday night.
These odds came from FanDuel Sportsbook on June 11, 2020.
Jessica Eye (15-7-0) vs. Cynthia Calvillo (8-1-1)
Coming in this weekend as the #1 challenger for the women’s flyweight Championship, Jessica Eye is looking to make her way back towards another shot at the belt. Her first shot at the title came almost a year ago to date, a second-round KO defeat by current champion Valentina Shevchenko.
Since then, Eye has already bounced back in a big way. Despite missing weight, Eye dismantled Viviane Araújo over three rounds at UFC 245 in December, earning a unanimous decision win. In that fight, Eye met her opponent at a catchweight of 131 pounds, which she largely places the missed weight on complications from.
The decision victory marked her 11th by that method over the span of her 15 professional fights.
On the other side of this showdown of elite fighters, Cynthia Calvillo, the #10 strawweight contender (115 pounds), will come up in weight to fight Eye. The last time we saw her in the octagon was a three-round back and forth fight with Marina Rodriguez, a fight that ended in a hotly debated draw.
For Calvillo, the draw marked the fourth fight in her last five that ended in a decision from the judges. The last time Calvillo ended a fight inside the final bell was in November 2018, a first-round submission. The first round submission was the second for Calvillo in roughly a 12-month span, with her first coming in mid-2017 against Amanda Cooper at UFC 209.
On the surface, a decision appears the most likely outcome in this one between two evenly matched fighters who have a knack for going the distance. While the juice (-210) may not be worth the squeeze, I have another proposition that is.
I look for Calvillo to continue her near-annual trend of submitting her opponent and the smaller than usual octagon at the UFC APEX, shouldn’t hurt either.