Eye in 2016
July 27, 1986 |
Rootstown, Ohio, United States
|Height||5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)|
|Weight||135 lb (61 kg; 9.6 st)|
|Reach||66.0 in (168 cm)|
|Style||Boxing, Muay Thai, Wrestling, Brazilian jiu-jitsu|
|Fighting out of||Independence, Ohio|
|Team||Strong Style Fight Team|
|Mixed martial arts record|
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
Jessica Eye (born July 27, 1986) is an American professional mixed martial artist. She currently competes as a bantamweight in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Called "one of the best strikers in the women's division" by FoxSports.com, Eye is known for her quick boxing, agility, and defense. She began competing in mixed martial arts (MMA) in 2008, amassing an undefeated amateur record through 2010. Eye found additional success after turning pro, winning each of her fights in Bellator and holding a 10-1 record upon signing with the UFC in 2013.
Outside of MMA, Eye has modeled for Cosmopolitan and been referenced in music by recording artist Machine Gun Kelly. Her fighting ability has received recognition from multiple media outlets and UFC president Dana White.
Jessica Eye was born in Rootstown, Ohio. When she was 16 years old, a drunk driver plowed into Eye and her father Randy while they were walking on the roadside. She suffered a broken back, among other injuries, and was bed-ridden for three months. She credits this incident with creating her drive towards success in mixed martial arts. She graduated in 2005 from Rootstown High School and Maplewood Career Center. She then attended the University of Akron, but never finished her four-year degree.
Mixed martial arts career
NAAFS and ROC
Eye made her amateur debut in mixed martial arts (MMA) in June 2008. She was undefeated as an amateur, winning five matches in total and becoming the first North American Allied Fight Series (NAAFS) amateur women's champion on December 5, 2009.
In June 2010, Eye made her professional MMA debut with North American Allied Fight Series in her native state of Ohio, defeating Amanda LaVoy by TKO (elbows). She defeated Marissa Caldwell in her second pro bout.
Eye became the Ring of Combat (ROC) 130 lbs women's champion on February 4, 2011, defeating Ashley Nee by TKO (punches).
Eye returned to NAAFS to face Angela Magana in the main event at NAAFS: Rock N Rumble 6 on August 17, 2012. She defeated Magana by unanimous decision.
Bellator Fighting Championships
After winning two fights for NAAFS, Eye next competed at Bellator 66 on April 20, 2012. She was originally scheduled to face Aisling Daly in a rematch, but Daly withdrew from the fight due to an ear infection. Eye faced Anita Rodriguez instead and defeated Rodriguez by unanimous decision.
In her third fight with Bellator, Eye defeated then-champion Zoila Frausto Gurgel at Bellator 83 on December 7, 2012, winning with a standing arm-triangle choke in less than one minute. The bout was a non-title bout.
Eye was set to face Munah Holland at Bellator 95 on April 4, 2013. However, Eye suffered a back injury during practice that left her temporarily unable to walk and she was forced to withdraw from a fight for the first time in her career.
On June 1, 2013, Eye defeated Carina Damm by unanimous decision at NAAFS: Fight Night in the Flats 9.
Along with Jessica Aguilar, Eye was released by Bellator on August 13, 2013 following the dissolution of its Women's division. Aguilar and Eye were the last remaining female fighters on the Bellator roster.
Ultimate Fighting Championship
In August 2013, Eye signed with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), moving up to the bantamweight division. The anticipation surrounding her debut was covered by USA Today and FoxSports.com.
In her first fight with the promotion, Eye faced Sarah Kaufman at UFC 166 on October 19, 2013. She won the fight via split decision. However, in February 2014, the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation changed the result to "no decision" with no reason initially given for the change. It was later revealed that Eye had failed her post-fight drug test after testing positive for marijuana and was subsequently fined $1,875 and put on probationary suspension for a year.
In March 2015, it was announced that Eye would face Miesha Tate on July 25, 2015 at UFC on Fox: Dillashaw vs. Barão 2, with the victor expected to receive a shot at the UFC Women's Bantamweight Championship. Eye expressed confidence heading into the bout, stating, "I know I'm better everywhere it goes. The striking, cage work, ground, everything." Tate remarked that she expected "the best Jessica Eye that anyone has ever seen," and called Eye a tough opponent. Eye lost the fight via unanimous decision.
Eye next faced Sara McMann at UFC Fight Night 88 on May 29, 2016. She lost the fight via unanimous decision. She fought Bethe Correia at UFC 203 on September 10, losing by split decision. Afterward, Eye announced that she planned to take a year-long hiatus from MMA competition.
She agreed to a grappling-only rematch with Miesha Tate at a Submission Underground show on December 11, 2016, which was won by Tate in overtime. In May 2017, she announced plans to compete in the UFC's newly created 125-pound flyweight division.
In a 2015 interview, UFC president Dana White said the following about Eye:
She's got great takedown defense, terrific hands and she's got that special something about her. She's a fighter, man. She's one of those fighters like I talk about, who is pure fighter. When it's go time, she's as tough as there is, and she loves it.
Known as an agile striker, Eye is largely recognized for exceptional hand speed and her use of variety. During exchanges, she often utilizes quick jabs, looping hooks, combinations, and body shots. Against Leslie Smith at UFC 180, she landed 32 strikes in the first two minutes.
In a 2015 commentary, ESPN's Brett Okamoto noted that Eye "makes a concerted effort to pick opponents apart, dart in and out, move laterally and work behind her jab." However, he also described her as predictable at times due to her extensive focus on boxing. Following Eye's UFC debut, Gregg Doyel of CBSSports.com called her "a skilled striker with fast hands." Damon Martin of FoxSports.com has described Eye as "one of the best strikers" in women's MMA.
In addition to her boxing, she makes regular use of body kicks. She is also known for her active striking during a clinch. When pressing an opponent against the cage, she normally attacks with knees, elbows, and uppercuts.
In popular culture
In July 2015, Eye was considered for the cover of Cosmopolitan as part of a feature on female athletes. She modeled for the article and discussed how her upbringing had led her to become a fighter. Elizabeth Narins, the publication's fitness and health editor, called Eye "strong and amazing".
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown|
|18 matches||11 wins||6 losses|
|Loss||11–6 (1)||Bethe Correia||Decision (split)||UFC 203||September 10, 2016||3||5:00||Cleveland, Ohio, United States|
|Loss||11–5 (1)||Sara McMann||Decision (unanimous)||UFC Fight Night: Almeida vs. Garbrandt||May 29, 2016||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Loss||11–4 (1)||Julianna Peña||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 192||October 3, 2015||3||5:00||Houston, Texas, United States||Eye was deducted one point in round 2 due to an illegal knee.|
|Loss||11–3 (1)||Miesha Tate||Decision (unanimous)||UFC on Fox: Dillashaw vs. Barão 2||July 25, 2015||3||5:00||Chicago, Illinois, United States|
|Win||11–2 (1)||Leslie Smith||TKO (doctor stoppage)||UFC 180||November 15, 2014||2||1:30||Mexico City, Mexico|
|Loss||10–2 (1)||Alexis Davis||Decision (split)||UFC 170||February 22, 2014||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|NC||10–1 (1)||Sarah Kaufman||NC (overturned)||UFC 166||October 19, 2013||3||5:00||Houston, Texas, United States||Bantamweight debut. Originally a split decision win for Eye; overturned after she tested positive for marijuana.|
|Win||10–1||Carina Damm||Decision (unanimous)||NAAFS: Fight Night in the Flats 9||June 1, 2013||3||5:00||Cleveland, Ohio, United States|
|Win||9–1||Zoila Frausto||Technical Submission (arm-triangle choke)||Bellator 83||December 7, 2012||1||0:58||Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States|
|Win||8–1||Angela Magana||Decision (unanimous)||NAAFS: Rock N Rumble 6||August 17, 2012||3||5:00||Cleveland, Ohio, United States|
|Win||7–1||Anita Rodriguez||Decision (unanimous)||Bellator 66||April 20, 2012||3||5:00||Cleveland, Ohio, United States||Catchweight (131 lbs) bout.|
|Win||6–1||Kelly Warren||Decision (unanimous)||NAAFS: Caged Vengeance 10||February 18, 2012||3||5:00||Cleveland, Ohio, United States|
|Win||5–1||Jennifer Scott||Decision (unanimous)||NAAFS: Night of Champions 2011||November 23, 2011||3||5:00||Canton, Ohio, United States|
|Win||4–1||Casey Noland||Decision (split)||Bellator 51||September 24, 2011||3||5:00||Canton, Ohio, United States||Catchweight (128 lbs) bout.|
|Loss||3–1||Aisling Daly||Submission (rear-naked choke)||NAAFS: Fight Night in the Flats 7||June 4, 2011||2||4:00||Cleveland, Ohio, United States||For the NAAFS Women's Flyweight Championship.|
|Win||3–0||Ashley Nee||TKO (punches)||Ring of Combat 34||February 4, 2011||1||4:34||Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States||Won the ROC 130 lbs Women's Championship.|
|Win||2–0||Marissa Caldwell||Decision (unanimous)||NAAFS: Eve of Destruction 1||September 18, 2010||3||5:00||Akron, Ohio, United States|
|Win||1–0||Amanda LaVoy||TKO (elbows)||NAAFS: Fight Night in the Flats 6||June 5, 2010||2||3:18||Cleveland, Ohio, United States|
- "Fighter Bio". Retrieved 2013-08-31.
- "Fight Card - UFC Fight Night Dillashaw vs. Barao 2". UFC.com. Retrieved July 26, 2015.
- Martin, Damon (2015-07-17). "A day in the life of Jessica Eye as she prepares for Miesha Tate". FoxSports.com. Retrieved 2015-07-20.
- "Jessica Eye was driven by car accident". Cleveland.com. 2012-04-19. Retrieved 2012-12-07.
- "Jessica Eye UFC Bio".
- "NAAFS Fighters - Amateur Women". NAAFS.tv. Retrieved 2012-12-07.
- "Jessica Eye MMA Stats". Sherdog.com. 2012-12-07. Retrieved 2012-12-07.
- "Jessica "Evil" Eye Wins ROC Women’s Championship". MMARising.com. 2011-02-04. Retrieved 2012-12-07.
- "NAAFS: "Fight Night In The Flats 7" Play-By-Play & Results". MMARising.com. 2011-06-04. Retrieved 2012-12-07.
- "Daly Blindsides Eye, Lozano Wins Again in Ohio". Sherdog.com. 2011-06-06. Retrieved 2012-12-07.
- "Jessica Eye Defeats Angela Magana At NAAFS: Rock N Rumble 6". MMARising.com. 2012-08-17. Retrieved 2012-12-07.
- "Spectacular Knockouts Highlight Bellator 51 Undercard". Sherdog.com. 2011-09-24. Retrieved 2012-12-07.
- "Weekend Recap: Jessica Eye, Tonya Evinger Earn Victories". MMARising.com. 2011-09-25. Retrieved 2012-12-07.
- "Jessica Eye Outpoints Kelly Warren At "Caged Vengeance 10"". MMARising.com. 2012-02-18. Retrieved 2012-12-07.
- "Daly Out, Jessica Eye To Face Anita Rodriguez At Bellator 66". MMARising.com. 2012-04-11. Retrieved 2012-12-07.
- "Alvarez Batters Aoki at Bellator 66; Weedman, Hawn, Goncalves, Spang Advance". Sherdog.com. 2012-04-20. Retrieved 2012-12-07.
- "Bellator 66 Results: Jessica Eye Decisions Anita Rodriguez". MMARising.com. 2012-04-20. Retrieved 2012-12-07.
- "Jessica Eye Chokes Out Zoila Gurgel In Bellator 83 Grudge Match". MMARising.com. 2012-12-07. Retrieved 2012-12-07.
- "Jessica Eye vs Munah Holland Planned For Bellator 95 On April 4". MMARising.com. 2013-01-28. Retrieved 2013-01-28.
- "Jessica Eye Suffers Back Injury, Out Of Bellator 95 Bout On April 4". MMARising.com. 2013-03-24. Retrieved 2013-03-24.
- "With final three females released, Bellator issues statement on women's division". MMAjunkie.com. 2013-08-13. Archived from the original on 2013-08-17. Retrieved 2013-08-13.
- "UFC Signs Jessica Eye, Targets Sarah Kaufman as First Opponent". MMAWeekly.com. 2013-08-21. Retrieved 2013-08-21.
- Marrocco, Steven (2013-10-18). "'Evil' Eye has no worries over heavier weight". USA Today. Retrieved 2013-10-19.
- Martin, Damon (2013-10-18). "Eye On The Prize". Fox Sports. Retrieved 2013-10-19.
- Whitman, Mike (2014-02-01). "Texas Commission Changes Eye/Kaufman Verdict from UFC 166 to No Decision". Sherdog.com. Retrieved 2014-02-01.
- Jesse Holland (2014-02-03). "Report: UFC 170's Jessica Eye fined and suspended one year following failed drug test". MMAmania.com. Retrieved 2014-02-03.
- Steven Marrocco (2014-02-10). "Commission: Jessica Eye tested positive for marijuana following UFC 166". MMAjunkie.com. Retrieved 2014-02-10.
- Thomas Gerbasi (2015-04-14). "Dillashaw-Barao II highlights Chicago Fox card". UFC.com. Retrieved 2015-04-14.
- "Jessica Eye talks her reaction when Dana pulled the Rousey fight, and her facing Tate". f4wonline.com. 2015-05-14. Retrieved 2015-05-16.
- Morgan, John (2015-05-19). "Miesha Tate: Third fight with Ronda Rousey on tap with win over Jessica Eye". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2015-05-20.
- Ordonez, Milan (2016-10-28). "Jessica Eye 'taking a year off' after being given 'one more chance' by UFC". BloddyElbow.com. Retrieved 2016-11-06.
- Gates, Billy (2016-12-11). "Jon 'Bones' Jones, Miesha Tate win main event at Submission Underground 2 in Portland". oregonianlive.com. Retrieved 2016-12-12.
- Barnes, Katie (2017-05-09). "UFC confirms addition of women's flyweight division". ESPN. Retrieved 2017-05-21.
- Iole, Kevin (2015-07-20). "Meet the fighter who believes she may be ready for Rousey". Yahoo!. Retrieved 2015-07-20.
- Gordon, Lee (2014-01-05). "Explosive Power Tips from UFC Fighter Jessica Eye". stack.com. Retrieved 2015-03-13.
- Martin, Damon (2014-11-15). "Fight Blog Recap: Fabricio Werdum TKO's Mark Hunt to claim interim heavyweight title". foxsports.com. Retrieved 2015-03-13.
- Sargent, Robert (2014-11-25). "Women's MMA Report: Eye stops Smith at UFC 180, VanZant shines in octagon debut". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2015-03-13.
- Sargent, Robert (2013-10-19). "Jessica Eye Wins UFC Debut, Defeats Sarah Kaufman At UFC 166". mmarising.com. Retrieved 2015-03-13.
- Okamoto, Brett (2015-07-23). "UFC on Fox preview: Tate versus Eye". ESPN. Retrieved 2015-07-23.
- Doyel, Gregg (2013-10-18). "UFC 166 Results: Velasquez def. dos Santos via fifth round TKO". CBSSports.com. Retrieved 2015-07-20.
- Wolff, Dwayne (2014-11-10). "UFC 180: Breaking Down Jessica 'Evil' Eye versus Leslie 'The Peacemaker' Smith". fightbooth.com. Retrieved 2015-03-13.
- Ziegler, P.J. (2015-07-23). "Cleveland’s Jessica ‘Evil’ Eye closing in on UFC title". Fox8.com. Retrieved 2015-11-06.
- Narins, Elizabeth (2015-08-12). "The 5 Strongest Female Athletes Don't Care That You Think They're 'Too Muscular'". Cosmopolitan.com. Retrieved 2015-11-06.
- Narins, Elizabeth (2015-07-17). "bts with jessicaevileye at cosmopolitan". Twitter.com. Retrieved 2015-07-20.
- Martin, Damon (2015-06-14). "Machine Gun Kelly re-records Cleveland anthem for Jessica Eye". FoxSports.com. Retrieved 2015-06-14.
- Maxwell, Sarah (2016-03-19). "Eye Believe: Jessica 'Evil' Eye - PressureLife". Pressure Life. Retrieved 2016-04-14.
- Makuch, Eddie. "Here Are All 250-Plus EA Sports UFC 2 Playable Fighters". Gamespot. Retrieved 26 February 2016.