Jessica Eye Signs with the UFC, First Fight Possibly Against Sarah Kaufman
It certainly didn't take the UFC long to secure free agent fighter Jessica Eye following her release from Bellator this week, and she may soon have her first bout in the Octagon.
Eye was one of three fighters released from Bellator last Tuesday as the Viacom owned promotion decided to move forward without a women's division. Eye joined Felice Herrig and Jessica Aguilar as the three final pieces of the puzzle, which Bellator had to let go as they opted to not pursue women's MMA in the immediate future.
While Herrig and Aguilar both compete at 115 pounds, Eye was possibly the most interesting free agent because she competes at both 125 pounds and 135 pounds—the latter being the only weight class currently used in the women's division by the UFC.
Eye trains out of Strong Style MMA, the same gym that serves as home to UFC heavyweight Stipe Miocic, as well as Bellator middleweight challenger Brian Rogers, just outside of Cleveland, Ohio.
So, with Eye being available and currently rated as one of the top women's fighters in the division, the UFC picked her up immediately and is targeting a potential fight against former Strikeforce champion Sarah Kaufman in her first bout.
According to UFC Tonight, who made Eye's signing official, stated that the promotion is currently looking at putting Eye against Kaufman, but no bout agreements have been issued for the potential fight.
Kaufman was originally supposed to fight at UFC Fight Night 27 against former Olympic silver medalist Sara McMann. Unfortunately, McMann was forced to withdraw from the bout for unknown reasons, and without the ability to find an opponent on short notice, the UFC opted to remove Kaufman from the card as well.
The good news for Kaufman is she won't have to wait too long to get back in the cage if she draws Eye for her next fight. According to UFC Tonight she is hoping for an October return to action.
Like Eye, Kaufman will be making her UFC debut when she steps inside the Octagon later this year.
The former Strikeforce champion picked up a victory most recently at Invicta FC 5 in April when she defeated Leslie Smith by split decision in one of the closest bouts on that night's card.
Damon Martin is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report
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