The UFC’s new women’s flyweight division will get rolling in earnest later this year after Season 26 of “The Ultimate Fighter.”
But ahead of that, a pair of big names reportedly will move up and down in weight to fight in the weight class at UFC 216. Strawweight Paige VanZant (7-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC), according to a report from FloCombat.com, will move up to 125 pounds to take on Jessica Eye (11-6 MMA, 1-5 UFC), who finally will move down from bantamweight after talking about the change for months.
UFC officials have not yet announced the fight, which the report says has verbal agreements from the fighters in place. UFC 216 takes place Oct. 7 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The main card airs live on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.
VanZant will be looking to get back in the win column after being choked out by Michelle Waterson in the main event of UFC on FOX 23 this past December in front of her home fans in Sacramento, Calif. She has alternated wins and losses her past four fights after starting a perfect 3-0 in the UFC with a TKO of Kailin Curran, a decision over Felice Herrig, and a submission of Alex Chambers.
But after that 3-0 run in the UFC, she was submitted by Rose Namajunas in their UFC Fight Night 80 main event in Las Vegas. She rebounded with a highlight-reel head kick knockout of Bec Rawlings at UFC on FOX 21, which earned her a $50,000 bonus, but then made it 0-2 in UFC headliners when she was put to sleep by Waterson.
There may be no one more in need of a UFC win, though, than Eye. After having her split-decision win over Sarah Kaufman overturned in 2013 for a positive marijuana test, it’s been tough sledding for the Ohio-based training partner of heavyweight champ Stipe Miocic. Eye has gone 1-5 since then, including losses in four straight fights.
She dropped a split call to Alexis Davis at UFC 170 in February 2014, but rebounded with a TKO over Leslie Smith at UFC 180 later that year – her lone UFC win. Since then, it’s been four straight setbacks, all by decision, to Miesha Tate, Julianna Pena, Sara McMann and Bethe Correia.
At the same time, though, perhaps no one in the UFC’s women’s ranks has had a tougher strength of schedule: Davis, McMann and Correia all challenged ex-champ Ronda Rousey for the women’s bantamweight title, and Kaufman once fought her for the Strikeforce belt; Tate is a former UFC and Strikeforce champion; and Pena was the Season 18 winner of “The Ultimate Fighter.”
With the potential addition, the UFC 216 lineup includes:
- Will Brooks vs. Nik Lentz
- Abel Trujillo vs. Lando Vannata
- Beneil Dariush vs. Evan Dunham
- Thales Leites vs. Brad Tavares
- Magomed Bibulatov vs. John Moraga
- Marco Beltran vs. Matt Schnell
- Mark Godbeer vs. Walt Harris
- Jessica Eye vs. Paige VanZant
For more on UFC 216, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.
Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie