CLEVELAND -- Jessica Eye was looking to make a change after losing her third straight fight via unanimous decision on May 29, and rather than making physical adjustments, she chose instead to alter the mental side of her game.
Eye began seeing a sports psychologist and feels primed to restart her career in the Ultimate Fighting Championship with her bout against former No. 1 contender Bethe Correia on the undercard of UFC 203 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.
“I’m in the highest level in the world for mixed martial arts, so everybody I go up against is going to be the highest level,” Eye said. “Unfortunately, there’s always a winner and there’s always a loser, but there’s no finishing me, and there’s no beating me technically. This time, I really went back to the drawing boards and I started seeing a sports psychologist.
“We do the exercising with our body and do the diet, but sometimes, we forget to exercise our mind and make ourselves better that way and think we have it all figured out. This time, I was able to exercise myself in a way that I have never been exercised before, so it’s allowed me to feel more confident in my abilities, just like I did when I first started.”
Although Eye has been focused on improving the mental side of her craft, she has seen a difference in the physicality in The Octagon.
“It all starts with the way that you think,” Eye said. “Your eyes wake up and your brain kicks in. Right now, because I feel like I’m in a much better mental state, my weight has been great. My training has been great. I’m smiling every day. I’m doing things I used to do that made me happy, and it makes my coaches happy. When I see them smile, it gives me the power to want to keep going and keep striving.”
Despite losing three straight bouts, Eye is ready to succeed and bring the home crowd to its feet at The Q on Saturday night.
“It’s finding a better me,” Eye said. “Hey, this is professional sports. It’s not a team sport. I don’t go in there with other people to rely on. It’s 100 percent myself, and if I don’t have all the tools together, I can’t get the job done.
“I was almost not firing on all cylinders, so now, I’m firing on all cylinders and I can feel that. What better to fire on all cylinders than in my hometown? It’s an amazing feeling. I feel like I’m just going to do great.”
This is Part Two of our seven-story series leading up to Eye’s bantamweight bout against Correia at UFC 203 in Cleveland Saturday night.