Jessica Eye knows without a shadow of a doubt what kind of strategy Sara McMann will bring into their fight Sunday night in Las Vegas.
McMann is going to try to take the fight to the ground.
McMann is an Olympic silver medalist in wrestling who has won virtually all of her fights after taking an opponent to the mat and grinding her into the canvas for the better part of three rounds.
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She is undoubtedly one of the best ground tacticians in the sport, but Eye believes that knowing McMann's strategy not only makes her predictable -- it makes her vulnerable to a superior opponent with a better game plan.
"I know this is one of those fights where both of us want to capitalize on what we're good at," Eye told FOX Sports. "I know Sara's game plan. Going into this fight, Sara wants to wrestle me. She doesn't want to get punched. She doesn't want to get kicked, and she doesn't think I'm a good wrestler.
"Me and her have trained together, which makes this a very interesting fight because I know what she wants to do to me. I know she wants to shoot under my straight shots. I know she's going to want to come in deep on the takedown off of my punches. I know what she wants to do. Her style is actually an easier matchup than most."
As well as Eye knows McMann from their past training sessions, she's not discounting the kind of athlete she's about to face, especially in a situation where she knows this fight could be make-or-break for her.
Eye has knocked on the door of a title shot on two previous occasions in the UFC but came up short in both. The 29-year old Cleveland native recognizes what she did wrong in both instances and sees self-correction as one of her greatest weapons going into the fight with McMann.
"When you're a true fighter, it's someone who can face adversity and continue to come forward and constantly change directions as directions need to be changed. We haven't seen that (with Sara), and we've seen that with me," Eye said. "Look, I know I know I've made a lot of stupid, stupid mistakes, and it's my fault. It's me not listening to my coaches and it's something we've had to deal with.
"We came back to the drawing board, I took another nine-month layoff, and got myself in a great mental mindset."
Eye believes she's made the necessary changes to not only beat McMann but rectify her three previous losses in the Octagon, where she feels like she beat herself more than her opponents got the job done.
Eye doesn't take anything away from Miesha Tate, Alexis Davis or Julianna Pena for defeating her, but she knows if she had fought to best of her ability all of those losses could easily have been wins.
"Miesha Tate threw the hardest shot she has ever in her entire life thrown at me in that fight, and she couldn't put me to sleep. She put me on my ass for about two seconds, but she couldn't put me to sleep. I think that it shows in my three losses in the UFC -- I allowed myself to not follow my game plan but follow theirs," Eye said.
"I bodied up with Julianna Pena, which allowed her to get inside trips that led to her win. We all know the judges in the UFC make takedowns the greatest thing in the world. Same with the Alexis Davis fight, and same with the Miesha Tate fight."
So to prepare for this fight, Eye took special care to listen to her coaches and made sure she's in the right frame of mind to show off a whole new bag of tricks when she returns to the cage.
On the flip side, Eye doesn't see that same level of growth or evolution in McMann's game, and that's what she'll look to expose when they face off in the featured prelim on FS1 at 7 p.m. ET Sunday.
"I feel like I'm forever always learning, but I don't feel like you see Sara take huge steps in there with her learning ability," Eye said. "I feel like I know her game plan. All she's going to want to do is go in there and go to try hug me up and hold me, but that's not going to happen."