4. The Loser Between These Bantamweights Could Be On The Chopping Block
The featured prelim of UFC 203 pits two ranked women’s bantamweights against each other. Title stakes are not on the line, but something far more important is: a job.
Former title challenger and #10 women’s 135-pounder Bethe Correia meets #11 ranked contender and Ohio native Jessica Eye in Cleveland Saturday night. “Evil” Eye is just 1-4 with one no-contest in her UFC tenure. Though she has lost to some of the division’s best – Miesha Tate, Julianna Pena, and Sara McMann among them – dropping to 1-5 in the UFC would be untenable. She will look to stop her current three-fight skid in front of her hometown crowd Saturday night.
Brazil’s Correia finds herself staring down the barrel of her own three-fight losing streak should she fall to Eye. The “Pitbull” rose to status as the #1 contender with three straight victories to begin her Octagon tenure, riding that momentum and her unbeaten record into a showdown with then-divisional queen Ronda Rousey. Rousey destroyed her in under a minute in devastating fashion. Correia’s return bout saw her drop a decision to up-and-coming Raquel Pennington. This leaves her in an unenviable position, as she could be facing a pink slip with another loss.
It is the strange nature of the thin women’s bantamweight division that such a fight could happen between borderline top ten fighters. The pressure is on both women to not just climb back up the rankings, but to stay employed come Sunday morning.