Jessica Eye wants to become UFC flyweight champion.
There’s no doubt that Eye absolutely celebrated the UFC creating a 125-pound women’s division, which was where she shined the brightest in her career before spending several years competing as an undersized bantamweight.
Eye certainly earned a lot of respect while fighting at 135 pounds but she’ll be the first to admit that she didn’t belong in that division compared to her stature at flyweight.
The Cleveland native even admits that over time her arduous road at bantamweight began chipping away at her confidence and that’s like poison to a fighter.
That’s why Eye has been on a mission of self-discovery since moving back to 125 pounds, focusing only on what she can do to get better and not worrying much about outside factors that don’t really affect her right now.
“I just want to feel good about myself again,” Eye told MMAWeekly. “I’m sick of the way the ‘UFC 135-pound time of my life’ made me feel about myself. It really made me feel less about myself. So really this fight isn’t about the rankings. This fight isn’t about the money. This fight for me is about me just proving to myself that I’m as good that I feel that I am. I have the ability to do the things I’ve always wanted to do.
“The last fight was about securing my position. This fight is about me showing what I’ve learned.”
While both fighters are ranked in the top 10 at flyweight, Eye says that as much as she’s targeting a title run in the division, she’s not even thinking about that right now.
That’s why Eye doesn’t have much of an opinion on reigning flyweight champion Nicco Montano, who has been out of action due to injury and illness since winning the belt last December.
“I really haven’t paid much attention to her. I haven’t watched much of Nicco,” Eye added. “I did watch [The Ultimate Fighter]. I know she’s 4-2 and she’s got a world title. I know she’s been sick and been out a little bit. To be honest, the ultimate goal is gold. So any steps in between, they’re going to happen as they happen. I just haven’t been focusing on her. I’ve just been focusing on me. Whatever is going on with her, it’s probably really unfortunate but I’ve been so focused on me and what’s in front of me and that’s ‘Jessy Jess’. “
The next step is winning on Saturday against Clark and then Eye will think about any future opponents that the UFC will put in front of her as an obstacle to finally get her tile shot.
“Once I’ve climbed the ladder enough where she’s within my radar, I’m going to get there and it’s a matter of time. I’ll worry about each situation when I get there,” Eye said.
“I’ve been told to worry about ‘Jessy Jess’ and that’s what I’m going to do.”