Jessica Eye: 'Fighting Has Brought My Family Together'
Sometimes life doesn't always go the way you would like it to go. Most children have a mother and father together when they are growing up. In the cases of the children that didn't get that luxury, life can sometimes be difficult because of mom and dad not being together. The children usually act out, or commit crimes with the hope that can bring the parents back together.
In the case though of Bellator women's flyweight Jessica Eye, it was mixed martial arts that brought her mom and dad back together for one moment.
Eye squares off tomorrow night against Bellator women's 115 pound champion Zoila Gurgel at Bellator 83. The card takes place on Friday from Caesars Atlantic City in Atlantic City, N.J. The Eye vs. Gurgel bout is part of the main card, which will be televised on MTV 2 starting at 7 p.m. ET.
This fight was originally supposed to take place at Bellator 78 last month in Ohio, where Gurgel and Eye reside. Eye suffered a foot injury and wasn't able to fight on the card. You would think Eye would have been disappointed in not being able to fight in her homestate, but she looked at it as a blessing for her fans.
"A lot of my fans are going to the fight," Eye told Bleacher Report. "They are really excited to make the roadtrip up. I'm excited that many people that live in Ohio that may have just stayed home if the fight happened last month. Now the fight is in New Jersey and they are like, "this is a mini vacation."
This fight has been the most talked about fight on the main card even though the main event features the lightweight finals with Rad Martinez facing Shahbulat Shamhalaev, with former bantamweight champion Zach Makovsky squaring off against Anthony Leone in the co-main event. Eye feels that without the men fighting, the spotlight wouldn't be as big for the women.
"To be honest, without the boys on the card with us, it is very hard for us women to shine without them," Eye stated. "People take it for granted that other women don't think about that. Without them and their success, our success is very hard to be shown. Main event or not, I'm just happy to fight.
"I'm excited to be on the card. I would have even taken being on the undercard if it meant just being on the card. I'm probably the most non-agressive female. I'm not very hard to please and don't have crazy expectations."
A lot of fans were stunned that this fight with Gurgel is taking outside of the Bellator tournament as they are two of the best at 125 pounds in the world. Eye feels Bellator is putting on this fight for a reason.
"We've talked about it (125 tournament)," Eye stated. "Nothing is set in stone, but I know they (Bellator) wouldn't be having these 125 pound fights they have had recently. I really feel like they aren't putting us in there for nothing. They could have easily had 115 pound fights in there, but they didn't. They added a new weight class, the 125 pound division."
Eye didn't have the easiest childhood growing up. Her parents divorced early in her life and remembers meeting her mom for the first time when she was fifteen. Eye started talking to her mom briefly when she 18, but a family rift caused her brother and her mother, Colleen to move to Massachusetts, while Eye stayed in Ohio with her father.
About a year ago, Eye found her mother on Facebook, where they started instant messaging each other. Then after a little bit of talking, Eye gave her mother her phone number and they have been talking ever since.
Colleen Eye suffers from COPD, which is a progressive disease that makes it hard to breathe. COPD can cause coughing that produces large amounts of mucus. Wheezing, shortness of breath and chest tightness are other symptoms.
COPD is the third leading cause of death in the United States. Eye doesn't know how long her mother has, but knows she will see her mother for the first time in almost seven years as Colleen Eye will be in attendance for the fight Friday night. Words cannot describe how Eye feels about her mom being in attendance.
"I'm so excited to feel her energy," Eye stated. "I know she's watched my fights before. She hasn't seen all my fights, but she has watched most of my pro fights.
"The only other time my parents have been in the same room since they got divorced was when I graduated high school. Now that I have gotten older, my dad wants me to have a relationship with my mother. She respects the relationship I have with my father. It is all coming together at the right time.
"I've been so blessed that fighting has brought my family together in ways that I never thought it would. Most people are like, 'fighting brings your family together?'
"In my case it has because nothing else has been able to bring them together. I'm blessed that my cousins that I didn't grow up with because of the division between my families are coming to the fight.
"It is very exciting to have my mom there and just to know that both of my parents are like, 'you know what, this is our daughter's shining moment, this is her time and nothing else matters but her.'
"My mom is a superstar and drop dead gorgeous. I can't wait for people to see her and can't wait to give her a big hug, touch her skin and feel her face. There's going to be a moment where she isn't going to be around anymore. I want her to have such a wonderful memory with me. I'm just excited for her. It is such a proud moment for me."
Unless otherwise noted, all quotes obtained firsthand.
You can also follow me on Twitter @fightclubchi.
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