UFC Fight Night Betting Pick: Jessica Eye vs Cynthia Calvillo

A lot of people are talking smack about these two women fighting in the main event. I know a lot of guys who surprisingly don’t like women’s MMA.

Some folks say they don’t like to see two women hit each other and that’s cool. I am well aware that the pool of talent in the men’s divisions is generally deeper than the women’s.

This is primarily due to the fact that more men than women practice MMA. More men than women have wrestled and/or boxed competitively prior to training in mixed martial arts. It’s just going to take time.

There have always been superstars in women’s MMA, though.

Julie Kedzie passed the torch to Gina Carano who passed it to Cyborg. Ronda Rousey came along at the right time and did more for the sport than any lady before or after her.

Now, we have Amanda Nunes and Valentina Shevchenko. These two women are as skilled and as dominant as any male fighters on the roster.

In my opinion, Valentina is the best pound for pound fighter in the UFC. I don’t mind seeing the UFC give a push to the women’s divisions.

If you know anything about heart in a fight, you are aware that women typically have more of it. Look at any footrace, for example.

The fastest man will always beat the fastest woman in a race like 100 meters. That’s because it’s all physical. There is no getting tired, pain tolerance, etc.

The longer the race goes, the more level the playing field, and when you get to two and three hundred miles, the toughness of some women stands alone.

I’ve always had a thing for high-level female athletes, not necessarily from attraction but more so because I know they have to work that much harder than most of the men, physically and socially.

A man is just being a man but a pretty girl fighting… So many people hate to see that. I respect and honor anyone willing to lock themselves in a ring or cage, fight for your life, and never quit.

Jessica Eye has stood toe-to-toe with the best and fought admirably. Her opponent on Saturday, Cynthia Calvillo, is also very tough but prefers to drag her opponents to that mat and strangle them.

BetOnline.AG has even betting odds for this fight. Let’s break the fight down and see where we want to risk our money this weekend at UFC Fight Night.

Jessica Eye (-110) vs Cynthia Calvillo (-110)

Round Total

OVER 4.5

How can people be talking trash about this main event?

The betting odds are dead even! They opened with Jessica Eye as a (-135) favorite and Calvillo at (+117). There is some sharp money being bet on Cynthia here and I don’t know if I’m buying it.

I would say 2 out of 3 experts are on Jessica Eye here. It does look like the organization is using this spot to feature Calvillo who hasn’t already fought and lost to the champ like Jessica.

Cynthia would present at least an interesting stylistic matchup with the champion Shevchenko.

You’re going to need to threaten her on the ground but Valentina has shown that she can hang on the ground with the 135-pound division’s best grapplers.

Saturday’s main event will be contested at Flyweight or 125 pounds.

This is Cynthia’s first fight at this weight class since joining the UFC. The move up to Flyweight was inevitable after missing weight on more than one occasion.

She isn’t that big, though. Her frame is borderline petite. I can’t tell you the last time I used that word but it’s true.

Joanne Calderwood is the same height as Jessica and also has the same reach, albeit with more narrow shoulders and longer arms. She came down from 125 to fight Calvillo. Cynthia stole that fight!

Calderwood dominated the striking but with a minute to go in both the first and third rounds, Calvillo scored a takedown and threatened with submissions.

I still thought JoJo did enough to win by dominating 13/15 minutes but two of the judges gave it to Cynthia 30-27…and this was in Calderwood’s home country of Scotland! I’m glad I didn’t have money riding on Joanne or I may have broken something.

I brought up this fight because the matchup is quite similar to Saturday’s main event. I just don’t think Calvillo has the strength to hold down someone as big and strong as Jessica Eye.

If she is taken down, Jessica should definitely take a punch to stand up as opposed to giving her back. “Evil” Eye is a big strong woman. She fought Meisha Tate, Juliana Pena, Sarah Kaufman… All three of these women are 135ers.

Cynthia is an average-sized 115 fighter. She had trouble holding down the rail-thin Marina Rodriguez at 115. I can just see her struggling with the physicality of Jessica.

Eye has been defending takedowns and standing up from the bottom in her MMA training forever. She is a sprawl and brawl style technical boxer.

Now for the small cage

Who does that favor? One might think Cynthia at first but she prefers her takedowns in space. She times double legs very well.

Against Calderwood, Calvillo skirted the cage. She wasn’t the fighter in the center. She is going to have the same if not worse size disadvantage against Jessica.

I see Eye taking and keeping the center of the Octagon. There is this worry, though. The fight is 5 rounds. This certainly favors Calvillo.

Jessica isn’t a big finisher so Calvillo will have more opportunity to get the takedown(s) and/or submission. I still don’t think it will be enough to stop Jessica Eye here, though.

Too big, too strong, too experienced, and a good jab. And just because there is a massive discrepancy in experience doesn’t mean we can say the same thing for age.

These two are both July babies born just a year apart.

Let’s go with Jess here.

My Pick

In Conclusion

Don’t hate on this main event! The betting odds are dead even! Ask yourself: When is the last time that has happened?

I feel great about a bet on Jessica Eye but the 5 rounds is kinda scary. We haven’t seen Calvillo go for 25 minutes but she looks pretty darn fresh at the end of 15. Maybe too much, though.

She only tried to take Joanna Calderwood down in the final minute of two of the three rounds. Cynthia was very fortunate to get the decision win in that fight and if I were her coach, I would employ her to wrestle heavy and often.

She will have to close the distance to get to Jessica Eye and that will likely be very tough considering how well Eye counters with straight punches.

Jess does have the tendency to lean over her lead foot when trying to land a big right hand. That’s something Calderwood didn’t do. She stayed light on her lead leg and used to probe and joust.

One key difference in Muay Thai and Boxing is how heavy fighters are on the lead leg. Even if she does get a couple of takedowns, I don’t think it’s the end of the world.

Much smaller fighters than Jessica Eye have been able to stand up from under Calvillo, and much bigger fighters than Cynthia like Tate and Pena.

Eye for the win!

Mike Pruitt / Author

Mike has been covering sports professionally since 2017 but on the amateur scene for 25 years since when he was 12. Before the internet changed the world, he would keep detailed statistical box scores of NFL and NBA contests, write recaps, and voluntarily commentate games and fights alone in his room. Mike's military experience, Bachelors Degree, and employment thereafter were always rooted in engineering, science, and teaching. Now he enjoys being able to express himself through writing about football, golf, and car racing among other sports but most of all fighting as his life has been rooted in mixed martial arts including competing and teaching for the past 15 years.