UFC 257: Jessica Eye says she had a ‘dead organ’ throughout her career

Jessica Eye returns to the Octagon in good health and with a reinvigorated energy to start 2021 on her road back to a title shot.

Former UFC flyweight challenger, Jessica Eye, has endured a long road back to feeling fully healthy both physically and mentally. At UFC 257, she will face Joanne Calderwood as part of the third bout of the pay-per-view portion, which is headlined by a rematch between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier.

Eye’s last outing was a hard-fought, five-round unanimous decision loss to Cynthia Calvillo in June of 2020. Since the loss, Eye’s main focus has been overcoming a plethora of stomach issues that negatively effected her weight cuts and overall Octagon performance.

”Guys, I had a dead organ. I had a dead organ  in my body,” Eye said with emotion during her pre-fight media scrum. “I don’t want to sound like a jerk because like, when I say…a dead organ. A dead organ that you were born with that is a full functioning thing. People die from gallbladder cancer. People die from pancreatic cancer. People die from spleen issues, from appendix bursting. I had a dead gallbladder. I was so fortunate during that time that my gallbladder did not explode, or even poison me any worse.”

Eye feels that despite the hardships she has faced, she has found herself becoming a better person throughout the recovery process and time away from fighting.

”I feel like a new person,” Eye said. “I feel energetic. I mean, I feel good now that I understand foods. I’ve been allergic to eggs and dairy my entire life. Unfortunately, maybe it was just the way that my dad was growing up, but we never got tested for it. I think that by now, we realize that food and things have changed that I’ve come to find out I’ve been allergic my whole life. I should have known, too, that even in this last weight cut when the UFC talked about my dieting and they gave me eggs, I was just profusely vomiting the entire week from the eggs. So yeah, it’s crazy to think about that and I don’t think we take enough credit that I can’t train my gallbladder, I can’t train my lungs. I can’t do these things that physically take the abuse that I’m forcing it to take. I don’t know if it was fight-related or nutrition-related, but all I know is that I don’t have it and that I’m thankful I got it out of me and that I’m not living with that pain anymore.”

Jessica Eye has never missed weight

Even with her struggles, Eye has maintained professionalism by always coming into weigh-in day in fight shape. She was confused by the criticisms surrounding her weight cut and wants to see more fighters reach out for help when needed.

”We instantly [jump to conclusions] instead of asking somebody who has a track record of making weight every time. Nobody turned around. Not fellow fighters, not anybody came out to me and was like, ‘man, Jessica, is something wrong? We’ve never seen you do that.’ So, instead, other fighters, like I heard the way Paul Felder talked about me on the fight and how people said things about me. Like nobody reached out to say ‘hey dude, maybe we can help you. Is there something going on? Do you need a doctor? Let’s talk about it. Let’s do some assessing.’ And the PI, they were stumped. The UFC PI was absolutely stumped. I had to leave them and go to other people because they could not figure out what was going on with me. So, I think by nature, all I can say in this particular situation is that everyone can stop and wait to see what happens on weigh-in day, and to give me a chance. Again, like, why are we always about putting people down, especially in this sport? If people aren’t making weight, there’s problems, right? It’s not a discipline thing, especially going into my 14th UFC fight. I’ve had over 10 fights and have never missed weight. It has never happened.”

Eye enters the bout as the No. 6 fighter in the division, having not won since Dec. of 2019.

UFC 257 takes place on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021, live from Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Follow along with FanSided for all your live news and highlights.

Published at Tue, 19 Jan 2021 21:56:50 +0000

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