An ear infection has forced NAAFS champion Aisling “Ais The Bash” Daly out of a planned title defence against Jessica “Evil” Eye at Bellator Fighting Championships 66 on April 20th in Cleveland, Ohio. Eye will now face Anita “El Tigre” Rodriguez in a 131-pound catchweight bout on the card.
MMARising.com confirmed Daly’s illness with multiple sources this week. She is still expected to face Rosi “The Surgeon” Sexton in a Cage Warriors 125-pound women’s tournament bout on June 2nd. Rodriguez makes her Bellator debut on short notice after her Invicta FC 1 bout was scrapped.
Eye (6-1-0) initially revealed the change in opponent in an interview with Ohio Mixed Martial Arts on Monday and stated that she was not concerned about the short-notice switch. Currently one of Ohio’s most popular mixed martial artists, Eye has won three straight fights in her home state since she was submitted by Daly in the pair’s first meeting in June. The loss to Daly remains the only blemish on Eye’s record. She had looked to avenge the loss and capture Daly’s North American Allied Fight Series title in the process, but the rematch will have to wait. Instead, Eye will compete in a catchweight bout against Rodriguez, who has won five of her past six.
Rodriguez (5-2-0) makes her Bellator debut on short notice, but she had already been preparing for a fight later this month. The Texas native and XFL women’s champion was set to face unbeaten rising star Cat “Alpha” Zingano at Invicta Fighting Championships 1, but that bout was scrapped one week ago when Zingano suffered an injury in training. Rodriguez and Zingano were scheduled to compete at 135 pounds, but Rodriguez will now drop four extra pounds in order to meet Eye in the catchweight bout. Rodriguez’s four-fight winning streak was snapped by Tonya Evinger in September, but she rebounded with a decision victory in January. Three of her five pro wins have come by submission.
Despite the change in opponent, Eye remains focused on fighting her way into the upcoming Bellator 125-pound women’s tournament, which begins in late 2012 or early 2013. She will have the hometown crowd on her side when she returns to the Bellator cage next weekend.
Bellator Fighting Championships 66 takes place on April 20th at the I-X Center in Cleveland, Ohio. The bout between Eye and Rodriguez will be part of the preliminary card streaming live on Spike.com.
(Photo Credit: NAAFS)