Jessica Eye: Taking year off competition til I am happy with where I am
There comes a time in most every fighter’s career where they pull over to the side, take out the proverbial road map, and figure out exactly where they want to go. And that is not necessarily a bad thing; it can be a decision that brings forth positive change and new direction.
UFC women’s bantamweight Jessica Eye has been down a rough road while on the largest mixed martial arts scene of them all. Realizing that, Eye has taken control of the reigns and stopped, or at least slowed down temporarily to seek out direction.
“I am actually really excited to take a year off of competing. No, I am not getting cut from the roster because I am lucky enough to have people who believe in me. Road never ends but sometimes a different direction has to be taken from the original one you thought of.”
Road for Improvment
With seven fights inside the UFC octagon, Eye has had two wins and five losses.
One of those wins would eventually get overturned into a no-contest, and the losses do not paint a tell-all picture of exactly how her career has gone.
If you dissect the losses and take a real hard look at what went down, it is easy to understand her frustrations and cause for her decision.
All five of her losses were via decision. Eye has never been defeated inside the UFC octagon. She’s faced top competition to include women who have either held the organization’s 135-pound title or fought for it to include Miesha Tate, Sara McMann, Alexis Davis, and Bethe Correia. Her only other UFC loss was to Julianna Pena who will likely receive the opportunity to fight for a title within the next year.
Eye has nothing to be ashamed of, and maybe a little time off will help heal the wounds both physically and mentally. It may help her erase the doubt and the ‘could have,’ would have,’ and ‘should have’s.
When a friend told her that her idea was career suicide, Eye had a different opinion.
“Well I am taking a year off whether it’s career suicide or not . Doesn’t mean I am not training I am just not getting back into UFC cage til I am happy with where I am.”
Fighters have been cut from the UFC for less, whether it be for a string of losses or something else, it is ultimately up to the UFC as to what happens to a fighter and their contract.
Even with the four hard-fought consecutive losses, Eye is still ranked among the UFC Top 15 women’s 135-pounders. As of the official rankings updated Wednesday, Oct. 12, Eye comes in at number 13.
The last loss, a split decision to Bethe Correia in front of Eye’s hometown crowd of Cleveland was rough, but not the end of the road.
Eye for the Future
There is a lot going on in the 135-pound women’s division right now. A lot of things are up in the air and while all these things play out, sitting on the sidelines and taking a look at the bigger picture may eventually help keep Jessica Eye in the game.
We as fans have not walked in Jessica’s shoes, therefore judgment should not be cast upon her or her decision, nor should we completely count her out.