01 Jan Video: Jessica Eye offers ‘no excuses’ for loss, responds to claims from Cynthia Calvillo and ‘shady’ manager
Jessica Eye will go back to the drawing board after suffering a unanimous decision loss to Cynthia Calvillo in the UFC on ESPN 10 main event this past weekend.
The one-time flyweight title challenger struggled to stop a series of takedowns from Calvillo, who repeatedly put her on the mat over 25 minutes. Two days later, the sting of the loss hasn’t lessened any, but Eye can only give Calvillo credit for a job well done.
“Obviously, I’m a rush of emotions,” Eye told MMA Fighting on Monday. “There’s obviously a lot. I’m highly disappointed that I didn’t win. I’m highly disappointed by my performance. But I’m extremely proud of Cynthia. She showed up, she came, she did an incredible job. I’m excited for the opportunity.
“The weight cut was terrible. Again, I really, really, really tried hard. I can’t pinpoint exactly what it was. I’m not feeding into all the bullsh*t everyone wants to say and they think they want to know. I didn’t feel good going into the fight. I could definitely tell that I was shaking a little bit, reserved from it. There’s no excuse. Cynthia did a great job.”
For the second fight in a row, Eye came in above the flyweight limit for a non-title fight. As she stepped on the scale on Friday, her announced weight was 126.25 pounds, only .25 pounds over the limit. But following the fight, Calvillo claimed that she actually weighed a lot more than that.
“I know this because we received a text message from her coach letting us know she was going to miss weight by 3.5 pounds, not 0.2,” Calvillo said at the post-fight press conference. “But when she showed up, she held the towel and got away with it.”
Eye refused to engage in a back-and-forth war of words with Calvillo regarding her weight after she paid out 25 percent of her salary as penalty for failing to hit the mark.
“I weighed what I weighed, what everybody saw,” she said. “I’m not going to go into arguing with a million people saying that they think they saw and this and that. I’m just not going to give anybody the f*cking arguments that they want. Everyone’s seen what they’ve seen and that’s it.
“I’m not going to go into he said [she said] bullsh*t because nobody has anything else to talk about. The fight’s over with. The weight’s over with. I’m not going to go into it. I’m not going to fight with [Joanne] ‘Jojo’ [Calderwood]. I’m not going to fight with these people over miniscule sh*t that really doesn’t mean anything.”
According to Calvillo, she received the information about the weight problems after Eye’s coach sent a text message to her manager.
Eye fired back at that claim and added it led to a completely different exchange between her head coach Eric Nicksick and Calvillo’s manager on Sunday.
“Really what it boils down to is [Calvillo’s manager] Danny Rubenstein being shady and saying things he shouldn’t be and why he called my coach Eric Nicksick apologizing,” Eye said. “This goes down more to managers in this sport being dirty and people in the industry talking. That’s really what it is. The MMA world’s small, and some of these managers that manage a lot of people at the same gym that are fighting each other and fighting people from the same area, nobody has each other’s backs at all.
“He called Eric Nicksick yesterday to apologize about the words that Cynthia and him said. So I’m going let those guys do it. I’m going to let those guys duke it out, cause I just don’t want to get into it. It’s stupid. To argue with people over my weight, over my money that I’m going to miss, over things that people don’t understand – I don’t have the energy, let alone the time to do it. I’d much rather let people think what they want of me or say things. It’s really not that big of a deal.”
Reached for comment, Rubenstein gave his side of the story regarding Eye’s weight miss.
“Jessica’s coach reached out to me at 7:45 [a.m.] saying that she was 129 [pounds] and that Jessica had asked him to get in touch with me to let me know,” he told MMA Fighting in a prepared statement. “I told Cynthia she was most likely going to be 2-3 pounds overweight, and we agreed she was taking the fight no matter what. I told Eric that we’re taking the fight either way and just to make sure she was close enough so that [the Nevada Athletic Commission] wouldn’t cancel the fight. She weighed in at 126.25 to our surprise, which if she cut the extra 3 pounds, great, but she still missed weight. We agreed on 25 percent, since this is the second time back to back she has missed weight.”
Nicksick confirmed he did send Rubenstein a message at 7:45 informing him that Eye was likely going to miss weight. Nicksick added that Eye continued cutting weight until she actually set foot on the scale.
When it comes what went wrong in her actual weight cut, Eye can’t say for certain what exactly went wrong, but it’s a problem that has now plagued her two fights in a row.
“To be honest, I went into the cut less than 10 pounds over,” Eye explained. “I went into the cut being OK. There wasn’t anything, but I don’t know. The last couple times I’m getting to that last two, three pounds and it’s getting harder. It didn’t help that I took the fight on three weeks’ notice. That plays a difference in a lot of these things.
“Making weight is hard. I really don’t get offended by people who have never cut weight in their life and truly understand it. I’m not a bad eater. I eat very clean, even in my offseason. I’m not one of those people that eats fast food and stuff like that. It’s just a small couple pounds difference.”
Despite the post-fight comments, Eye said she holds no ill will toward Calvillo whatsoever and actually wishes her nothing but the best moving forward in her new career at 125 pounds.
“I hope she goes on and takes on the division and does great things,” she said. “I hope she goes back and beats ‘Jojo’ just like she did the first time and maybe does something good for this sport. That’s always my mindset on all this. I’m not a hater.”
In regards to other fighters who offered their opinions on her weight miss as well as the loss to Calvillo, Eye just hopes they are ready to reap what they sow.
“Between Lauren Murphy and ‘Jojo’ – I just don’t get them,” Eye said. “They want to act like these sweet women, but in all reality they’re ugly-souled. They talk about people. They go to Twitter to recruit people. They’re bullies. That’s like real-life bullying. As much as they want to sit back and say, ‘I’m so nice, I’m so sweet,’ you’re real life bullies. That’s exactly what a bully is in definition.
“I’ve had to eat my own words by being a bully and I have. I bullied “Sarj” [Sijara Eubanks] and said things about her missing weight, and look, I missed weight. I’m noble enough. I’m better than those women. At least I say when I’m wrong and I admit it.”
As far as what comes next, Eye will be competing in a Submission Underground match this weekend, and then she plans on taking some much-needed time off.
After spending the majority of the coronavirus lockdown in training, Eye looks forward to a trip home to Ohio to visit friends and family before contemplating her next move. She does plan to stick around at flyweight, but there’s no time table yet on her return.
“I’ll get back to training in a week,” Eye said. ”I’m grappling this weekend. Life still continues and still needs done. It doesn’t just stop because something didn’t go my way.”