Jessica Eye: Alexis Davis will give Ronda Rousey ‘harder time than she’s expecting’

Jessica Eye (left) thinks Alexis Davis (center) will be a tougher opponent for Ronda Rousey than most think.

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Jessica Eye thinks Ronda Rousey will underestimate Alexis Davis. Why? Because Eye admits to doing the same thing herself.

Davis beat Eye at UFC 170 back in February in a very tight split decision. Eye still believes she should have won that fight, but also said she experienced things from Davis that she did not anticipate.

"I think people are kind of underestimating Alexis," Eye said last weekend in San Antonio before UFC Fight Night. "I did. I didn’t realize that once we got down on the ground that she was as strong as she was and was able to neutralize me."

Rousey’s bread and butter is obviously her work on the canvas — all but one of her career wins is via armbar. Eye thinks Davis will give Rousey trouble on the ground when they meet at UFC 175 on Saturday night in Las Vegas. Davis has a black belt in both Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Japanese jiu-jitsu, while Rousey was an Olympic bronze medalist in judo.

"With a world-class jiu-jitsu game like that, stylistically it’s going to match up with Ronda quite well," Eye said.

I think people are kind of underestimating Alexis. I did. I didn’t realize that once we got down on the ground that she was as strong as she was and was able to neutralize me.

-Jessica Eye

When asked, Eye was hesitant to pick a winner. What she did predict was a very tough fight, far from what the oddsmakers feel. Davis is almost an 18-to-1 underdog on the betting site 5 Dimes and few are giving her a shot to win.

"I know that when Alexis gives her a lot harder time than she’s expecting, it just makes me look that much better," Eye said.

As for herself, Eye (10-2, 1 NC) is targeting a return in the fall — definitely before December. She described the Davis loss as "heartbreaking." It was only her second career defeat and the previous one came by submission. This one was much harder to take, because she felt like she should have gotten her hand raised. Mostly.

"This last fight I did not feel like I lost, but I definitely feel like I didn’t do enough to win and that’s just like losing," Eye said.

Immediately afterward, she was crushed. Eye said she put on about "20 pounds of bad weight" during a five-week sulking period. But since then, she has been re-energized and has been sorting out things in her life.

Eye has had an up-and-down relationship with her father, Randy, and she said she has "taken a step back" from it. Eye has had her own personal issues, testing positive for marijuana and having her win against Sarah Kaufman overturned to a no decision because of it.

"It’s been a very, very hard relationship between me and my father since I was a little girl," Eye said. … I’ve realized it’s hindering me. I have to provide for myself. Fighting is how I make my money. It’s how I live."

Refocused, Eye said she doesn’t have a particular opponent in mind, though she would like to welcome big names like Gina Carano or Holly Holm to the UFC. Eye doesn’t even mind the layoff — she’s so happy with how her training is going that she feels like the more time she has off, the better she’ll be moving forward.

"I don’t think people are going to recognize the Jessica Eye that’s going to be back in the UFC cage," she said. "I can’t wait."