CLEVELAND -- The losing streak is over for Bethe Correia.
Correia earned the split-decision victory over Cleveland’s Jessica “Evil” Eye in the women’s bantamweight feature bout of the preliminary card of UFC 203 at Quicken Loans Arena Saturday night.
Correia broke a two-fight losing skid with the decision over Eye, who has now lost four straight fights, all of which have gone to the judges’ scorecards, and five of her last six bouts.
Tentative in each of her last three bouts, Eye came out and controlled the pace in the first round of the fight. She landed several punches early and maintained control of the center of The Octagon for more than four minutes.
It was only late in the first round when Correia got the second of two tie-ups after a flurry from Eye, that she had her opponent facing the back of the cage.
Eye landed 27 of her 79 strikes (32 percent) in the first round and 22 of those were considered significant blows. Correia landed at a higher volume, 39 percent, but threw only 43 strikes, 39 of which were considered significant.
The bridge of Correia’s nose was reddened from Eye’s strikes.
Early in the second round, Eye absorbed several hard left-handed jabs from Correia, and that opened up a cut on the right side of her face. However, Eye stayed with the action, even smiling taking some of the punches and responded with a flurry that had Correia backing up to the cage fence with 75 seconds left in the round.
Eye stuffed a pair of takedown attempts in the final minute of action and ducked out of a potential fight-ending overhand right from Correia. Just as she had in the first round, Eye outlanded Correia, 27-23, in the second.
Over the final five minutes of action, Correia landed more punches, 30-23, and had a 15-14 edge in significant strikes in the third round.