Jessica Eye maintains her innocence, will fight to get win back on her record
Jessica Eye talks for the first time since a scandal almost cost her the fight she has scheduled at UFC 170 while revealing that she will appeal the decision to hopefully get the win restored on her record.
Shock and awe fuel Jessica Eye's desire to get her win against Kaufman back.
Nick Laham/Zuffa LLC
By Damon Martin
Jessica Eye already had a lot on her mind when she walked into training last Saturday, just two weeks away from her second UFC fight with a possible title shot looming on the horizon with a win.
When she wasn't at the gym getting ready for her fight against Alexis Davis, Eye was spending as much time with her father as possible as he goes through treatments of radiation and chemotherapy for an ongoing battle against cancer. So as she finished her first training session of the day, Eye was actually feeling really good and optimistic about the work she had just put in.
Then the bottom completely fell out.
"I had probably the best Saturday morning training. I mean I got up at my normal 8 o'clock time, me and my brother went swimming, we went to my favorite breakfast spot and had breakfast and then we got the gym. I had amazing training with Marcus (Marinelli) and his team, and we were just finishing up for the day and we were just sitting out on the mats and Marcus comes out and he gives me this awful look and he's like 'come here' and I said 'did Alexis get hurt? Is the fight off? What happened?'. We went into his office and he turned the computer and I literally was just like oh my god!" Eye told FOX Sports in an exclusive interview.
I went through like five emotions. I started to cry, I wanted to hit something, I started cussing, I started throwing a temper tantrum, I'm like what the f—k is going on?
The headline posted online stated that Eye's win at UFC 166 over former Strikeforce champion Sarah Kaufman had been turned into a no decision. The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) had released the information to a single website, but failed to include any information as to why the decision was overturned and because it was a weekend, no one was in the office to answer any questions.
Eye immediately went through a wave of emotion as she saw one of her proudest achievements wiped away without any explanation as to why it happened.
"I went through like five emotions. I started to cry, I wanted to hit something, I started cussing, I started throwing a temper tantrum, I'm like what the f—k is going on?" Eye said. "How can they do this? How is this even possible? Then I went and grabbed my phone and I probably had 30 or 35 text messages on my phone and I was like what the f—k is going on?"
The worst part for Eye was the waiting game because she had to wait a full two days before the commission in Texas re-opened for her to call and get answers why her win was changed to a no decision. The answer she received on Monday didn't make her feel much better unfortunately.
Jessica Eye won a closely contested split-decision over Sarah Kaufman in her UFC debut.
Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC
The commission in Texas posted a notice on their website stating that Eye had tested positive for a prohibitive substance and was placed on a one-year probated suspension. It took most of the day to understand what that ultimately meant, but long story short, Eye had to pay a fine and essentially not get into any more trouble or her probation for the infraction would turn into a suspension.
"We didn't even find anything out until halfway through Monday. We tried to get a hold of the commission. It was just a mess. I was pretty much on Saturday I was an emotional rollercoaster. I didn't really know how to feel. Like everything got speculated. It's like Jessica Eye's on drugs, Jessica's on PED's, it was a bad judging call, there was a fake judge and then someone was like Jessica's a heroin addict, someone was like the judges were paid off by Jess. I'm like are you f—king kidding me? What do you mean?" Eye said.
"That's the first time in my career or in my life, like I'm a woman of my word, I pride myself on being a respectful woman in and outside the cage but then all these people started saying all these things to me and I was like a dog backed into a corner, I wanted to start biting them all. I can't do that. I couldn't say anything."
The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation couldn't release any further information about the results of their findings or why they stated Eye tested positive for a prohibitive substance so the onus fell back on her to defend her position and explain why this all happened.
The worst part about it all was because the commission didn't verify what actually went down, everyone began to speculate what she had done wrong and before she knew it she was convicted in the court of public opinion.
Regardless of whatever I forgot to do, or whatever I didn't put down on paperwork or what I did wrong, no matter what, how can Sarah live with herself that that's how she got the win? That she couldn't even get it that day.
"I have made mistakes in life, I'm capable of mistakes and I'm probably going to make a lot more mistakes in life, but I'd never make a mistake that would truly ever ruin my character that I have built all these years and waited to get to this moment. Waited to get to the UFC," Eye explained. "Nothing is worth gambling that. I don't even hang out with certain friends, I don't even go to certain places, I don't do anything anymore because I don't want to do anything stupid. I think people don't know me well enough and that's why they make comments about me."
Eye stopped short of explaining exactly what happened with the testing infraction due to the fact that she's appealing the decision and her fight is still ongoing. She did make one thing perfectly clear, however, stating that she never tested positive for any kind of performance enhancing drug or drug of abuse like cocaine.
"If I had done something so seriously wrong does everybody think that the UFC or the Texas commission would be helping me or not fully suspending me? People forget what they already know and they speculate things that don't even make sense just because they want to. I'm really trying to figure this situation out and people want me to say more, but what it really boils down to is like it doesn't matter because I didn't do anything that I shouldn't have done. If anything it's a clerical mistake on my own end and I'm going to work through it and I'm not going to give anybody any extra ammo to sit there and make me feel stupid or be stupid," Eye said.
"I'm a single female, what the hell am I going to do with a PED? I'm trying to get a date one day, I'm trying to get married. Or being a drug addict? People use your brains, use what you know about me already."
I PROMISE YOU I AM NOT SUSPEND and WILL BE FIGHTING FEB 22 as scheduled !! @UFC don't believe everything you read online !
The next step for Eye in the legal process is for her to battle to get the win back from the fight against Kaufman. The commission turned the fight to a no decision, but Eye refuses to give up hope to get that victory back on her record after she earned the win in her UFC debut.
"100-percent yes, I'm battling it right now and that's why I'm not saying anything is because I want my win back," Eye said. "Regardless of whatever I forgot to do, or whatever I didn't put down on paperwork or what I did wrong, no matter what, how can Sarah live with herself that that's how she got the win? That she couldn't even get it that day."
Through all the turmoil that Eye has faced over the last few days, she's quietly been able to maintain her focus for the biggest task at hand and that's getting ready for her fight with Davis at UFC 170 in Las Vegas. Luckily, Eye also had her biggest supporter in the world offer up some valuable advice when this whole ordeal started.
"My father really made it easy for me," Eye said. "He said 'Jessica Eye – f—k them prima donnas, you ain't gotta worry about them. The only thing you worry about is Alexis Davis on Feb 22. If you're fighting, that's all that matters, the rest will get sorted out'. That kind of made me feel better."