Weekend Recap: Jessica Eye, Tonya Evinger Earn VictoriesJessica “Evil” Eye was successful in her Bellator Fighting Championships debut on Saturday night at Bellator 51 in Canton, Ohio. Competing in front of friends in her home state, Eye earned a Split Decision win over Casey “KO” Noland in a catchweight bout after Noland came in over the 125-pound limit.

On Friday in Tulsa, Oklahoma, veteran Tonya Evinger picked up a quick win over Xtreme Fighting League champion Anita “El Tigre” Rodriguez at XFL: “Rumble on the River 5.” Despite taking the bout on just two days’ notice, Evinger was dominant and finished Rodriguez with a rear-naked choke.


Eye (4-1-0) bloodied the nose of Noland (3-2-0) early in the fight with punches and a knee and much of the opening round was spent in a clinch against the cage. Noland tried to take the fight to the mat, but Eye defended well and landed more knees that drew cheers from the partisan crowd. Eye kept her distance early in round two and scored with hooks and a body kick. Noland eventually clinched after landing a leg kick, but Eye took her down and landed a knee before the bell.

Seemingly up two rounds to zero, Eye again defended against Noland’s takedown attempts in round three. Noland managed to land a pair of leg kicks, but Eye quickly countered with right hands. Noland clinched and backed her up to the cage late in the round, but Eye landed another good knee and the fight came to an end soon after.

Judges Mike Barry and Darren Austin returned 29-28 scorecards for Eye and presumably awarded the close third round to Noland. Judge John Beltz scored the bout 29-28 in Noland’s favour, which seemed to surprise even Noland herself. An elated Eye leapt into the air after she was announced as the winner and she may now have earned a spot in the rumoured Bellator 125-pound women’s tournament which may take place in 2012.

Winner: Jessica Eye by Split Decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29) after three rounds. She improves to 4-1-0.


In what was originally scheduled to be a champion versus champion bout between Xtreme Fighting League titleholder Anita “El Tigre” Rodriguez and Rumble on the River champ Sarah “Too Sweet” Alpar, Rodriguez (4-2-0) instead faced ultra-late replacement Evinger (9-6-0) and suffered a quick submission defeat. Evinger controlled the striking exchanges early in the fight before slamming Rodriguez down to the mat. She transitioned to the back and secured a fight-ending rear-naked choke for the victory.

Evinger is now expected to face Alpar for the ROR title at an upcoming event in December. The bout will likely be contested at 125 pounds, as Alpar has previously campaigned as a super flyweight and Evinger has recently entertained thoughts of dropping down from bantamweight.

Winner: Tonya Evinger by Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) at 1:57 of round one. She improves to 9-6-0.



(Photo Credit: NAAFS)