Cynthia Calvillo shook off a slow start to control Jessica Eye on the ground and secure victory via unanimous decision in a main-even flyweight bout Saturday night at UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas.
Calvillo (9-1-1), who moved up a weight class and was in her first five-round fight, had just a few weeks to train for the fight and came out a bit sluggish. Eye (15-8) -- who came in a quarter pound over the non-title flyweight limit of 126 pounds -- landed several jabs to control the first round, giving Calvillo a small cut on the nose.
But the Mexican-American from Sacramento by way of San Jose quickly turned the tables, scoring takedowns in each of the final four rounds and racking up more than five minutes of control. Calvillo never appeared close to a submission until late in the final round, but it didn't prove necessary, as two judges scored the fight 49-46 and one scored it 48-47.
"I feel great, especially for putting on a performance like that with like, a short amount of train," Calvillo said afterward. "I understand we're all going through crazy times, so it feels amazing to be able to do that through this time.
.".. I knew that it was going to take me a little bit to really get it going. I needed that first round to really warm up and get my feet going."
Eye, the top contender in the division coming in, was the more effective striker early. But Calvillo landed more head shots as the bout continued and snuck in a few effective kicks, including one particularly heavy head-kick. She finished with ground-and-pound blows late in Round 5 to cap the victory.
Earlier Saturday, Italy's Marvin Vettori (15-4-1) outclassed Karl Roberson (9-3) in a middleweight bout, finishing him at 4:17 of the first round via rear-naked choke after dominating the striking earlier in the round.
Vettori rained down punches from a half-mount near the cage, forcing Roberson to give up his back, and Vettori quickly ended it with the choke.
In other main-card fights, Charles Rosa (13-4) survived a split decision over Kevin Aguilar (17-4) in a lightweight bout; Andre Fili (21-7) snuck by Charles Jourdain (10-3) via split decision in a battle of featherweights; Jordan Espinosa (15-7) scored a unanimous decision over Mark De La Rosa (11-5) in a bantamweight fight; and Mariya Agapova (9-1) submitted fellow flyweight Hannah Clifers via rear-naked choke at 2:42 of the first round.
--Field Level Media