In a division already in need of contenders for dominant champion Valentina Shevchenko, Saturday's UFC Fight Night main event couldn't have produced a better outcome. Cynthia Calvillo made her official debut at flyweight after moving up a weight class and decisively outworked former title contender Jessica Eye to secure a unanimous decision over five rounds (49-46, 49-46, 48-47) inside the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas.
The victory instantly announced Calvillo (9-1-1) as a legitimate contender at 125 pounds as she mixed clean striking with four takedowns to remain unbeaten over her last four fights.
"I feel great, especially for putting on a performance like that with a short amount of training," Calvillo said. "I do understand that we are going through crazy times in this world, so it feels great to be able to do this.
"I knew that it was my first time getting ready for a five-round fight and had to do it in three weeks. I knew it was going to take me a bit to get it going and I needed that first round as a warmup."
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Eye (15-8, 1 NC), who missed weight by .25 pounds on Friday and subsequently required help walking off of the scale, appeared to control the opening round with clean counter-punching. The naturally bigger fighter as a former bantamweight, Eye quickly lost any momentum she had in Round 2 when Calvillo changed levels brilliantly to score a takedown and soon take Eye's back in search of a choke.
Calvillo, 32, outlanded Eye by a margin of 137 to 97 over five rounds. But it was the timing of her takedowns that turned this from a close fight to a largely dominant one as Calvillo appeared on the verge of dangerous submission attempts in three of the final four rounds, forcing Eye to fight just to survive.
"I felt great [in the championship rounds]," Calvillo said. "I trained super hard, and when I get bored, I always try to win practice and outwork everyone. This is my first time doing that, and I'm really excited and proud of myself."
The 33-year-old Eye, who was knocked out by Shevchenko via vicious head kick in their 2019 title bout, fell to 4-2 after moving down to flyweight.
Following the debut win at 125 pounds, Calvillo received an instant callout on social media from former title challenger Katlyn Chookagian and expects to stay active from here on out.
CBS Sports was with you the entire way on Saturday, updating this story with all the results and highlights. You can check out the action from UFC Fight Night: Eye vs. Calvillo below.
UFC Fight Night: Eye vs. Calvillo results
- Cynthia Calvillo def. Jessica Eye via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 48-47)
- Marvin Vettori def. Karl Roberson via first-round submission (rear-naked choke)
- Charles Rosa def. Kevin Aguilar via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Andre Fili def. Charles Jourdain via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Jordan Espinosa def. Mark De La Rosa via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
- Mariya Agapova def. Hannah Cifers via first-round submission (rear-naked choke)
- Merab Dvalishvili def. Gustavo Lopez via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-25)
- Julia Avila def. Gina Mazany via first-round TKO (punches)
- Tyson Nam def. Ryan Benoit via first-round TKO (punches)
- Christian Aguilera def. Anthony Ivy via first-round TKO (punches)