The featured early prelim at UFC 264 for those following along on Fight Pass was battle of former women’s flyweight title challengers.
Jessica Eye vs. Jennifer Maia were both former foes of champ Valentina Shevchenko, on the long road back to contendership. For Maia, it was her first fight since falling to “Bullet,” while Eye was 1-2 since falling short in her own title bid.
Eye came out with a clear intention of putting Maia on her heels right away. Working behind the jab, she got the best of most exchanges with the exception of a knee from Maia that hit fairly flush. Eye even caught a kick and dropped Maia to the floor, but had no intention of engaging when it got there. Maia’s offense picked up a bit in the second half of the first round, but Eye continued to cut her off and back her up. Eye then landed a takedown with roughly 15 seconds left and ended the round there.
Eye’s pressure didn’t wane at the beginning of the second, but the success of that action did. Maia began to find additional holes in the defense of Eye. Eye then found another takedown, but Maia elevated her base and a scramble saw them both back on their feet. With two minutes left, Maia landed a big right. Eye, needing to mix things up a bit, started to work in leg kicks. A clash of heads led to a huge cut open on the forehead of Eye. She clinched Maia up against the cage and the round ends there.
Same forward movement from Eye in the third — less action for the early portion though. As the round continued on, the right hand of Maia became a problem for Eye. Kicks from Eye appeared to be keeping things close, at least in terms of significant strikes. With a minute to go, the blood began trickling from Eye again, and that signaled her going to the clinch. This time she’d walk away with no takedown. With 10 seconds left, they started swinging with each landing big shots. UFC 264’s first women’s offering would end there.
Official Result: Jennifer Maia def. Jessica Eye (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)