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UFC 266 fighters make their own title eliminator

Cynthia Calvillo may just earn herself a title shot with a win over Jessica Andrade at UFC 266, and she masterminded the opportunity.

Cynthia Calvillo is dictating her career trajectory on the road to UFC 266 and a fight with Jessica Andrade.

Andrade vs. Calvillo opens the main card of UFC 266: “Volkanovski vs. Ortega,” which will take place inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Sat., Sept. 25, 2021, streaming online via ESPN+ pay-per-view (PPV). Calvillo (No. 5) is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Katlyn Chookagian in Nov. 2020, yet she could earn herself an Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) title shot with a win over top contender and former champion Andrade.

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BLOCKBUSTER BANTAMWEIGHT BATTLE! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to Newark, N.J., for the first time in more than three years on Sat., May 6, 2023, with a blockbuster Bantamweight collision inside Prudential Center that will see Aljamain Sterling attempt another successful title defense against returning two-division titleholder and former gold medal-winning Olympic wrestler, Henry Cejudo. In UFC 288’s last-minute pay-per-view (PPV) co-main event, former Welterweight title challenger, Gilbert Burns, locks horns with No. 4-seeded contender, Belal Muhammad, in a five-round, 170-pound No. 1 contender eliminator match.

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“Honestly, that’s what I was hoping for — I asked for the fight,” Cavillo told “It wasn’t so much that it was offered to me. I saw the opportunity and I took it. It’s very similar to what I did last year with Jessica Eye. I saw the opportunity that she didn’t have the fight, so I asked the matchmakers.

“In this case, I actually saw Jessica Andrade at Invicta,” Cavillo continued. “She was cornering a fighter and I was cornering a fighter, and I asked if she wanted to take a face-off picture. We sent it to Mick [Maynard]. We sort of matched it up ourselves.”

Andrade, the former UFC women’s Strawweight champion, suffered a second round technical knockout loss to UFC women’s Flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko (watch highlights) at UFC 261 back in April. Shevchenko vs. Lauren Murphy serves as the co-headliner for UFC 266 and, while Calvillo has not officially been tabbed as a short-notice replacement, she is prepared to fill in for either title fighter.

“Honestly, I don’t think there is anybody else right now who is going to be there,” she says. “It’s whoever they decide. It could be very likely.”

Remember that will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 266 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPNEWS/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 266: “Volkanovski vs. Ortega” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

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