Why She’s Interesting: Ranked ninth in Ultimate Fighting Championship’s flyweight division and known as “Evil Eye,” Eye is a fighter in more ways than one. Being hit by a drunk driver when she was 16, along with years of abuse by her father, ultimately drove her to a career in mixed martial arts. By age 19, Eye was thrown into the octagon for her very first competition. Now, she continues to persevere while inspiring others.
Her Fight: The younger version of Eye wanted revenge — and fighting felt like a way to get it. “It was sort of the Midwest way. Doing something gritty and something that no one else wants to do, but there’s a purpose for it.”
A New “Why”: Eye’s journey has changed significantly since she first began. “My childhood has shaped the person I am today. When you’re in those moments you can’t see the lesson or why you’re going through those things.”
Finding a Lane: There was a serious lack of female competitors when Eye first began. “I had to be my biggest promoter if I wanted people to believe in fighting.”
A Lover Too: “If I’m not fighting or training, I give the shirt off my back. If a turtle was crossing the road, I’d stop traffic to make sure it gets across safely.” She wants people to see strength, compassion and empathy before the fighting version of herself.
Life Beyond: Eye, who suffers from irritable bowel syndrome, dreams of opening a restaurant that caters to people like herself.
Advice: “You can always make more money, but you can’t get back experiences that you lost.”