The reality is, women have a harder time with weight cutting compared to men — but Jessica Eye was still embarrassed after missing the mark for UFC 245.
Las Vegas, NV — Former flyweight title challenger Jessica Eye entered UFC 245 looking to bounce back from a crushing defeat at the hands of Valentina Shevchenko earlier this year. However, what should have been a feel-good moment for Eye, a decisive win against Viviane Araujo, who had been on a five-fight win streak, was marred by the fact that Eye missed weight by the bout.
Coming in a full five pounds over the 126lb non-title flyweight limit, Eye (15-7, 1NC) knew she’d be open to criticism. Worse, she was disappointed in herself.
She tackled the subject following her unanimous decision victory backstage at the T-Mobile Arena on Saturday, speaking to media members including Cageside Press. “Missing weight, in my fourteen years as an athlete, I’ve never missed the mark on that,” said Eye. “It was something I miscalculated. Lucky me, I got my special cousin in town today. If you don’t know what that means, every other female does.”
Apparently, at least someone did not get the message, which led Eye to clarify “I’m a female, I have a period. My cousin Flo.”
It’s an interesting topic in the fight game. Something that fans may not consider when it comes to cutting weight. What a woman can, and cannot do, with her body will differ at certain times.
“Let’s dig into the female body for a minute,” suggested Eye. “We have a period every four weeks. When you’re dieting heavy, a female’s body starts to change. So things get really messed up. Sometimes it can push your period off, or it can pull it forward. We knew based on our calculations that I was supposed to get my period this week. And sure as sh*t I did.”
The timing could not have been worse. “At one point, my body would not let go of water. We were sitting there, and I was just getting hot.” The water wasn’t sweating out. Things were not looking good, and Eye’s team got in touch with Araujo’s team.
Eye promised her opponent’s camp that she’d do everything in her power to drop the weight. In the end, she couldn’t, something she admitted was embarassing. “I don’t want it to happen again. I’ve never missed weight in my life, I’ve fought at [125lbs] for years.”
“I’m ashamed of myself,” she added. Though perhaps she wasn’t prepared for how vocal the fanbase was. “The amount of backlash I took is just mind-blowing, that people are just that mean and cruel over it.”
A friend, however, pointed out that fighters are paid to make weight. That’s why, when you miss, part of your show money is taken. “The fighting is the fun part. They pay us to make weight, I missed my mark, and I had to pay her some money,” Eye said. “I’m sorry to her, I’m sorry to all of my fans and all the people. It won’t happen again. It’s not like this is something that’s a continuous problem with me.”
It was something that for Eye was quite a struggle to get over. “When I got dropped off today, my coach was literally like ‘Jessica, let it go.’ I couldn’t even smile. Everybody was at dinner at my house, we had all these great things, I had Pinkbox Doughnuts send me stuff, and I felt so ashamed to eat and enjoy myself. It was really embarrassing.”
Which is why she doesn’t intend to let it happen again. “I don’t like to feel shameful in front of the world.”
Watch the full UFC 245 post-fight press scrum with Jessica Eye above!