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UFC Fight Night 113 fight card: Joanne Calderwood vs Cynthia Calvillo preview

MMA: UFC 210-Calvillo vs Gonzalez Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women’s Strawweight contenders Joanne Calderwood and Cynthia Calvillo will collide this Sunday (July 16, 2017) at UFC Fight Night 113 from inside The SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland.

Despite having an excellent professional kickboxing career, Calderwood has struggled to find a home in UFC. She’s not at risk of being cut or anything, but “Dr. Kneevil” has never looked all that comfortable at 115 pounds, and is likely to head up to the newly-created Flyweight division before long. On the other hand, Calvillo carved out a position for herself in remarkable time. With just three professional fights to her name, Calvillo accepted and won two separate bouts, both on short-notice, about a month apart on the main card of pay-per-view (PPV) events.

Let’s take a look at the keys to victory for each athlete:

Joanne Calderwood
Record: 11-2
Key Wins: Valerie Letourneau (UFC Fight Night 89), Cortney Casey (UFC Fight Night 72), Seohee Ham (TUF 20 Finale)
Key Losses: Jessica Andrade (UFC 203), Maryna Moroz (UFC Fight Night 64)
Keys to Victory: Calderwood is a great volume kickboxer. At range, she throws a ton of strikes and good combinations, mixing together her kicks and punches well. If the fight moves into closer range, Calderwood excels with chopping elbows and knees in the clinch as well.

This bout will be a serious test to her grappling defense.

Calvillo is a killer on the mat, and Calderwood doesn’t want any part of that evidenced by her pair of submission losses. To avoid a similar fate here, Calderwood will have to maintain lots of distance and fight smart.

Calderwood would be smart to mix lots of front kicks into her attack. Any time a fighter is pressuring, a kick up the middle serves as a great deterrent to moving forward. In addition, Calderwood needs to do her best to punish takedown attempts. If Calvillo’s first couple takedown attempts result in her wasting energy and eating elbows, she’s more likely to give Calderwood the kickboxing battle that she desires.


Cynthia Calvillo
Record: 5-0
Key Wins: Amanda Cooper (UFC 209), Pearl Gonzalez (UFC 210) Montana Stewart (LFA 1)
Key Losses: None
Keys to Victory: Calvillo’s scrambles, wrestling and dangerous Brazilian jiu-jitsu abilities have been on display in both of her fights. Despite still being in her first year as a professional fighter, Calvillo also showcased above-average kickboxing in her last fight, as she boxed up a woman known for her boxing!

The strategy in this fight is pretty obvious. Underrated striking or no, Calvillo is a ground specialist who has finished four of her opponents on the mat. Meanwhile, both of Calderwood’s professional losses came via submission, as did her defeat on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF). With that in mind, Calvillo should encourage Calderwood to strike with her. Calderwood throws a ton of strikes, which also means a ton of opportunities for the takedown, be it ducking under a punch or catching a kick. Calvillo doesn’t necessarily have to chase Calderwood around, as she can start throwing with the Scottish striker and wait for her to respond.

If that doesn’t work, Calvillo can really up the pressure and try to wrestle along the fence. Either way, Calvillo is likely going to dominate if she can land a takedown.

Bottom Line: It’s another step up in competition for Calvillo.

Realistically, Calderwood is on her way to 125 pounds before long. Her best performance inside the Octagon came at a one-off fight in that weight class, and it would serve her career well to get a fresh start at Flyweight.

Ideally, she would get that fresh start on the heels of a win here, but a loss wouldn’t really hurt her either.

Calvillo’s success has already been pretty extraordinary, as climbing into UFC’s Top 15 with back-to-back short-notice wins in a fighter’s first professional year is pretty unheard of. A win here — with her first full camp behind her — would push Calvillo into the Top 10, not all that far off from the title mix. A loss, on the other hand, doesn’t lose Calvillo any ground, although it does slow her meteoric rise.

At UFC Fight Night 113, Joanne Calderwood and Cynthia Calvillo will throw down in the co-main event. Who will earn the victory?

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