Cynthia Calvillo appears to have found a home at 125 pounds.
The American Kickboxing Academy export on Saturday announced her arrival in the Ultimate Fighting Championship women’s flyweight division with a clear-cut unanimous decision over Jessica Eye in the UFC on ESPN 10 headliner at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. Calvillo swept the scorecards with 49-46, 49-46 and 48-47 marks from the judges, distancing herself from a disappointing draw with Marina Rodriguez in December.
Eye was effective while upright, where she utilized her skills as a counterpuncher and maximized her size and strength advantages. On the ground, it was an entirely different story. Calvillo executed takedowns in the second, third, fourth and fifth rounds, where she wore out the former Ring of Combat champion with ground-and-pound, guard passes and occasional submission attempts. She also enjoyed extended success on the feet in the latter stages of the match, her quick, active hands providing a nice change of pace while factoring into the outcome.
In the aftermath of UFC on ESPN 10 “Eye vs. Calvillo,” here are four matches that ought to be made:
Cynthia Calvillo vs. Katlyn Chookagian: Calvillo becomes an immediate person of interest in a division now viewed as little more than a playground for the incomparable Valentina Shevchenko. While the San Jose, California, native may not be ticketed for a title fight yet, she certainly moved closer to that desired destination with her performance against Eye. Another point in Calvillo’s favor: She already holds a victory over Joanne Calderwood, the woman believed to be next in line to challenge Shevchenko for the 125-pound throne. Chookagian last appeared at UFC on ESPN 9, where she captured a unanimous decision over Antonina Shevchenko on May 30.
Marvin Vettori vs. Brendan Allen-Ian Heinisch winner: An emerging dark horse contender at 185 pounds, Vettori submitted an overweight Karl Roberson with a rear-naked choke in the first round of their middleweight co-main event. The Italian powerhouse drew the curtain 4:17 into Round 1, as he extended his run of consecutive victories to three. Vettori scrambled into top position, threatened with multiple guillotines and softened the Dana White’s Contender Series graduate with ground-and-pound before advancing to the back and cinching the choke. It was his first successfully executed submission since he dropped a guillotine on Alberto Emiliano Pereira in his August 2016 promotional debut. Allen and Heinisch on June 27 will lock horns at UFC on ESPN 12.
Andre Fili vs. Bryce Mitchell: Team Alpha Male’s Fili rebounded from his Jan. 18 defeat to Sodiq Yusuff with a split decision over Charles Jourdain in a closely contested three-round featherweight showcase. All three cageside judges scored it 29-28: Derek Cleary and Eric Colon for Fili, Ron McCarthy for Jourdain. The Canadian floored Fili with a counter left hook inside the first five minutes and flurried in a bid to finish, only to see his efforts go for naught. Jourdain’s takedown defense betrayed him in the second and third rounds, where the tide slowly but surely shifted towards his more experienced counterpart. The undefeated Mitchell moved to 13-0 at UFC 249 on May 9, when he cruised to a lopsided unanimous decision over Charles Rosa.
Julia Avila vs. Sijara Eubanks: The once-beaten Avila recorded her fourth consecutive victory and did so in style, as she put away Gina Mazany with a knee strike to the body and follow-up punches less than a minute into the first round of their undercard pairing at 135 pounds. Mazany bowed out 22 seconds into Round 1. Avila shook off a right hand to the chin from the Xtreme Couture rep, flipped the switch to berserker mode and delivered a crushing knee to the gut. Mazany doubled over, retreated to the cage and offered no response to a subsequent burst of punches from the “Raging Panda.” Eubanks last competed at UFC Fight Night 171, where she took a unanimous decision from Sarah Moras on May 13.
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