UFC 264 Early Prelims: Jennifer Maia vs Jessica Eye- Prediction and Analysis

Published 07/04/2021, 7:23 AM EDT
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – NOVEMBER 20: Jennifer Maia of Brazil poses on the scale during the UFC 255 weigh-in at UFC APEX on November 20, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)


Former flyweight title challengers clash on the preliminary card for UFC 264 taking place at the T-Mobile Arena in Vegas. Jennifer Maia and Jessica Eye are both ranked inside the top 10 of the flyweight rankings. Additionally, both women competed against Valentina Shevchenko within the last two years with only Maia surviving to the final bell.

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Valentina Shevchenko has shredded her way through the flyweight division and appears to be the most dominant champion in the company. Her ability to shut down contenders has been nothing short of spectacular. Jennifer Maia offered some resistance to ‘The Bullet’ and even that wasn’t nearly enough.

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UFC 264: Jennifer Maia vs Jessica Eye

Maia fought Shevchenko in her last fight back in November 2020 and is making her octagon return against Eye. She was 3-1 before running into Eye and it’s safe to say that her status as an elite flyweight is secured. While a win won’t bring another title shot, it’s essential she returns to form in order to retain her number 4 ranking.

LAS VEGAS, NV – NOVEMBER 21: (L-R) Jennifer Maia of Brazil punches Valentina Shevchenko of Kyrgyzstan in their women’s flyweight championship bout during the UFC 255 event at UFC APEX on November 21, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

As showcased in her fight against Shevchenko, Jennifer Maia’s wrestling game is not to be overlooked. The Brazilian is adept at top control and is a constant submission threat on the canvas. Not to mention, with considerable hand speed, she will favor her odds against ‘Evil’ Eye.

‘Evil’ Eye: Getting back on track

Evil’ Eye is 1-3 in her last four fights including a head kick loss to Shevchenko in her title fight back in 2019. Jessica Eye hasn’t been able to stay consistent through her run and will be hoping to attain some stability. She’s currently ranked number 7 and could receive a massive bump up if she defeats Maia convincingly.

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CHICAGO, IL – JUNE 08: (L-R) Valentina Shevchenko of Kyrgyzstan kicks Jessica Eye in their women’s flyweight championship bout during the UFC 238 event at the United Center on June 8, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Jessica Eye’s biggest weakness is that she tends to plot forward into striking range with somewhat mediocre defense. Eye relies on her fundamentals to get in close and uses her grit to win fights via decision. The last time she earned a stoppage win to her name was in 2014 when she TKO’ed Leslie Smith.

Prediction: Jennifer Maia to claim a unanimous decision victory

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Darryl Pinto

1787 articles

Darryl Pinto is a senior MMA writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Mass Media (with a specialization in Journalism) out of Xavier’s College and has a year's experience in his current role. Darryl specializes in predictions, reporting, and covering UFC events live.

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