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Kalindra Faria won’t say Jessica Eye doesn’t deserve to be in the UFC

Kalindra Faria looks for her first UFC win in St. Louis.
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Jessica Eye desperately needs a victory after winning only one of her past seven fights, but does she really deserve to be in the UFC?

Eye is slated to meet Kalindra Faria at the UFC St. Louis card on Sunday, and Faria won’t say that her opponent should have already been cut after losing four in a row.

”I can’t judge,” Faria told Brazilian reporters during a recent online scrum. “She might have dealt with difficulties, every athlete does, and if she’s here that’s because she might have done a good job. It’s hard to say something. I won’t judge anyone. I just want to go there and do a great job and win this fight, God willing.”

Eye has fought some of the best in the UFC, from Miesha Tate to Julianna Pena to Sara McMann, but Faria can’t help but wonder if such a long skid will affect the way Eye performs inside the cage.

”I think that the pressure can be either positive, and she comes (to fight) like crazy, or it can be negative and she exposes herself and I use it against her,” Faria said. “It’s hard to underestimate fighters, to say ‘I will win the fight’ and ‘the fight will be like this.’ It’s hard to know how her head is. I kept thinking, ‘Will [Eye] come like crazy to hit me, or will she come more patient?’ I know this is a division that she wanted, that she’s coming different, but we’re prepared for her.

”Every opponent is tough and we can’t underestimate anyone,” Faria added. “She used to fight in the bantamweight division and I think that it was an issue for her. I think she’s coming for all or nothing and I have to fight smart. I think she’s a great opponent.”

Faria is also looking to get back on track after losing her Octagon debut to Mara Romero Borella, who replaced Andrea Lee on short notice. Faria signed with the company after winning three in a row, including a five-round decision win over Carina Damm to capture the Titan FC bantamweight gold. Now she looks back at her UFC debut as a learning experience.

“That loss gave me a push, I came back and changed a few things in my training,” Faria said. “A fight is a fight, that happens. You can be well-trained and sometimes go there and the fight is over quickly. I think I froze. One mistake you make in the cage and you lose.

”I wasn’t focused, with a good head. I wasn’t well-trained for that fight. I had a few injuries and had no rhythm. I simply accepted that fight because it was a UFC debut and that’s something I wanted. I had a camp for this fight, and there’s a difference.”

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