YAS ISLAND, Abu Dhabi — One of Northeast Ohio's best athletes is set to return to the octagon Saturday night.
Rootstown native Jessica "Evil" Eye will face Scotland's Joanne Calderwood as part of the main card for UFC 257. The women's flyweight fight will take place on "Fight Island" in Abu Dhabi.
It will be Eye's first bout since last June, when she lost a unanimous three-round decision to Cynthia Calvillo in Las Vegas. The 34-year-old has lost two of her last three fights (including a flyweight title bout against Valentina Shevchenko in 2019 at UFC 238), but is attempting to climb back up the flyweight rankings, where she is currently positioned at No. 6.
Calderwood is ranked seventh in the division and has also been defeated two of her last three times out, the most recent being a first-round submission against Jennifer Maia back in August. The Muay Thai specialist sports an all-time MMA record of 14-5, compared to Eye's 15-8-1 mark.
This will be the first meeting between Eye and Calderwood, with the winner improving their chances of hopefully facing Shevchenko for the title belt. It will be the third-to-last of an 11-fight slate, with Conor McGregor's UFC return against Dustin Poirier slated as the main event.
UFC 257 will begin at 10 p.m. eastern time on ESPN+ before moving to ESPN after the first two fights. The final five bouts (include Eye's), however, must be purchased on pay-per-view for $69.99 on ESPN+.