Women’s MMA Fights to Watch: Jessica Eye vs Sara McMann

Women’s MMA at UFC Fight Night 88.

Jessica Eye versus Sara McMann, scheduled to go-down on May 29th, 2016, at UFC Fight Night 88, doesn’t appear to be drumming-up the anticipation and hype that it deserves—probably as a result of the abundance of high-quality fights that UFN 88 boasts, including Thomas Almeida versus Cody Garbrandt, Renan Barão versus Jeremy Stephens, and several others. As most MMA fans know, fights that would be immediately recognized if booked on less-stacked events are often overlooked when buried within relatively deep cards.
Nevertheless, fans who do tune-in to Eye vs McMann will be in for a real treat, as both competitors are skilled and entertaining.
More specifically, the Cleveland, Ohio representative Eye has been competing professionally (and against elite competition) for the better part of a decade—since before Ronda Rousey stepped into the cage as a pro—and in many ways, she is a pioneer of women’s MMA.
Additionally, each and every time Jessica Eye competes, she “brings it” (even UFC president Dana White has spoken of just how thrilling it is to watch Eye fight). The striking-based bantamweight prefers to box with her opponents—as Leslie Smith found out the hard way, when her ear was left dangling as a result of Eye’s strikes—but still possesses an outstanding submission arsenal and BJJ skillset—as Zoila Frausto Gurgel found when she was trapped in a standing arm-triangle choke that Eye finished in less than one minute (in what was later deemed “Submission of the Year” by many MMA media outlets).
Sara McMann, an Olympic wrestling champion, well-balanced athlete, and all-around excellent fighter provides a difficult challenge to each and every competitor who she meets inside the cage. Since falling to Ronda Rousey in what was a very premature stoppage, McMann has bested the skilled Lauren Murphy and shared the cage with current-champion Miesha Tate, as well as the next challenger for the belt, Amanda Nunes (who will meet Tate at UFC 200).
Admittedly, both Eye and McMann are in a bit of a precarious spot, in terms of their careers. Both women have lost their last two fights—in hard-fought fashion—and another loss may cause them to be cut from the UFC (or, equally as viable, drop to the promotion’s newly minted women’s flyweight division).
But it’s important to keep in mind that each of these women—especially Eye, who is still just twenty-nine years old—could put it all together, or make the most out of their already-established, but not necessarily utilized, skillsets—and make another run at the belt. The technique, power, and conditioning required to make this title run a reality are there for both women.
Fight fans cannot miss this ultra-intriguing contest between Eye and McMann when it goes-down on May 29th, once again, on the Fox Sports 1 preliminary portion of the event—live and free, most importantly.
In addition to being stylistically appealing, the bout will determine the career trajectories of both women, and directly affect the bantamweight divisional standings.
Enjoy the fights!

Lauren von Bernuth