Jessica Eye Finally Books UFC Flyweight Debut After Ripping Paige VanZant for Turning Down Fight

Jessica Eye will make her long awaited UFC debut at 125 pounds in early 2018

Jessica Eye finally has a fight and a willing opponent ready to meet her at 125 pounds.

The Ohio native, who was once ranked as the top women’s flyweight in the sport, will return to her natural weight class when she competes at UFC Fight Night in St. Louis on Jan. 14.

Eye will meet second time UFC fighter Kalindra Faria on the card after she made her Octagon debut in October in a loss to Mara Romero Borella at UFC 216. UFC officials confirmed the fight with ESPN this week.

Eye has been champing at the bit to get a fight at 125 pounds after she was supposed to return to flyweight in Octaober for a matchup against Paige VanZant.

Van Zant eventually had to drop out of the bout due to a back injury and Eye says that the UFC attempted to rebook the matchup but this time the former “Dancing with the Stars” contestant turned it down.

“Thanks Paige, I appreciate you messing with my holidays. I appreciate you lying to me and I appreciate you not being a true woman and a true professional after saying Saturday in multiple interviews you had a contract that you were getting ready to sign,” Eye said when taking aim at VanZant last week. “If there’s anything you can learn from this, learn to be a little bit more of an adult and stop lying to your fans and stop lying to people who follow you and fight the toughest. If you want to come to flyweight, fight one of the best flyweights you’re ever going to see.

“This isn’t the UFC’s fault. This is a Paige VanZant problem. This is what you did, Paige and it’s extremely unfair and you should be ashamed of yourself. Truly.”

Obviously, Eye never ended up getting the fight with VanZant but now she’ll face Faria instead as part of the UFC’s first ever card in St. Louis.


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Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the industry since 2003 with bylines on FOX Sports, CNN, Bleacher Report and numerous other outlets.