Cynthia Calvillo is a UFC women’s flyweight contender after just one fight in the division.
Calvillo rolled in a unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 48-47) win over Jessica Eye on Saturday night in the main event of UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas. Calvillo took Eye down in four out of five rounds and outstruck the bigger Eye on the feet.
This was Calvillo’s debut at flyweight after previously spending the duration of her UFC career at strawweight, where she struggled with making weight. Eye missed weight by .25 pounds Friday and had to forfeit 25% of her purse to Calvillo. It was Eye’s second straight fight where she missed weight coming in.
ESPN had Eye ranked No. 6 among women’s flyweight fighters in MMA and Calvillo was unranked at strawweight. Two fights ago, Eye fought for the divisional title.
The card took place without fans in attendance at the UFC Apex, which sits across the street from the UFC corporate campus. It was the third UFC event in Las Vegas since Nevada reopened combat sports in late May.
Calvillo had nearly eight minutes of control time on the ground throughout the fight. Per the UFC, she is now tied for the most wins among female UFC fighters since 2017 with six, joining two-division champion Amanda Nunes, flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko, Katlyn Chookagian and Angela Hill. Since 2018, Calvillo is undefeated at 3-0-1. The only other UFC women to be undefeated in that span with at least four fights are Nunes, Shevchenko, strawweight champion Zhang Weili and Yao Xiaonan, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.
Afterward, Calvillo, who now has to be considered a factor in the flyweight title picture, said she’d fight “whoever” next. Calvillo told Paul Felder in her postfight interview that UFC president Dana White told her she could fight four times this year.
“I’m down to fight everybody,” Calvillo said. “Just keep me busy. I’m trying to keep Dana at his word. … Bring it on. Let’s do it.”
Eye had success on the feet in the first round, landing several hard right hands. Calvillo adjusted her game plan in the second. She took Eye down, landed some ground-and-pound and took Eye’s back, looking for a rear-naked choke. It didn’t come, but Calvillo controlled the round.
In the third, Eye landed a hard right hand and Calvillo went back to her strength: the ground game. Calvillo landed a takedown and took Eye’s back again. The fourth was much of the same, with Calvillo taking things to the mat and getting Eye’s back. Eye was able to defend submissions well.
Eye had some more success with right hands in the fifth, but Calvillo took her down again after eating a hard shot. Calvillo looked for submissions, including a rare Peruvian necktie, but Eye was able to ride it out.
Calvillo (9-1-1) is unbeaten in four straight fights. The California native has not lost since a 2017 defeat to former strawweight champion Carla Esparza. Calvillo, 32, has long been considered a UFC prospect. She recently changed training camps to American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, California, the home of UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and former double champion Daniel Cormier.
Eye (15-8, 1 NC) was coming off a rebound victory over Viviane Araujo at UFC 245 in December. In her bout before that, Eye was knocked out by Shevchenko, the titleholder. Eye, 33, lost four straight at bantamweight before moving down to flyweight in 2018 and reeling off three straight wins.