We only saw the UFC men’s flyweight title defended by Henry Cejudo with his TKO win over TJ Dillashaw over this past weekend in UFC on ESPN+ 1, and now it loooks like the women’s flyweight name is going to be defended shortly, too.
According to UFC president Dana White, who spoke to reporters following the UFC’s debut event on ESPN in Brooklyn, New York, the world’s top MMA company is set to give Jessica Eye another title shot 125lbs. She’ll take on UFC women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko for the title later this season, though White did not say when the belt would be defended. Together with the UFC running three or four cards per month until June, the promotion had a lot of holes to match and Shevchenko vs. Eye makes sense as a main event for a Fight Night card on ESPN+, or perhaps even as a co-main occasion to get a pay-per-view.
White told reporters concerning Eye getting the next title shot after someone asked him if Joanne Calderwood — who predicted Eye out following her decision win over Ariane Lipski — was in line to fight for the name. There were rumors Eye was likely to be next for Shevchenko since they both fought on precisely the same UFC 231 card, and we know that is indeed the case.
Eye (14-6, 1 NC) has rescued her career by creating the movement down to flyweight. After struggling with a 1-5, 1 NC album for a bantamweight, Eye is currently 3-0 in 125lbs. She’s defeated Kalindra Faria, Jessica-Rose Clark and Katlyn Chookagian in her last three outings so as to get the title shot at the UFC’s new branch. The fact she’s gone the distance in eight of her 10 UFC fights is about going up from a finisher such as Shevchenko who probably has to be stopped in order to conquer, but Eye has looked improved at flyweight along with her obtaining the next title shot makes sense.
Shevchenko (16-3) needed a 4-2 record for a bantamweight from the UFC, but her two losses came against champion Amanda Nunes and she needed to make a move down in order to find another title shot. Moving down to 125lbs has proven to be a great move for her as she ruined Priscila Cachoeira within her UFC flyweight debut to get a title shot, then defeat Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 231 to maintain the vacant belt. Outside of this Nunes struggles, Shevchenko has looked unstoppable from the Octagon, and it is hard to see anybody at 125lbs giving her much of a struggle when she’s so much beyond everybody in the branch so far as skill goes.
Obviously this fight is not 100 percent official yet, but it appears likely to be formally announced shortly, and once it does the oddsmakers shouldn’t have much trouble lining the struggle. I’m fully expecting Shevchenko for a massive favorite yet again, starting at least around -500 and being steamed even higher. Shevchenko always receives a tremendous amount of aid from bettors while Eye traditionally doesnt get much of any, so this is not a difficult fight to line. As great as Eye has appeared in her latest couple of fights since falling down from bantamweight, it is hard to see that her being the boxer to shoot Shevchenko’s belt.
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