Rising strawweight prospect Cynthia Calvillo earned a hard fought victory over seasoned veteran Joanne Calderwood on the Scottish fighter’s home turf at UFC Fight Night 113 on Sunday in Glasgow, Scotland.
Calderwood got off to a blistering 9-0 start to her professional career, but dropped two of her four previous fight entering the bout with Calvillo, who was on a 5-0 tear coming into what was expected to be the toughest fight of her young career… and it was.
Getting the victory wasn’t without taking some bumps and bruises from Calderwood.
Calderwood controlled most of the action in the opening round, attacking Calvillo’s lead leg and working to establish her jab, while Calvillo was mostly relegated to a couple body shots until late in the round.
In the waning minute of the round, Calvillo scored a takedown and took Calderwood’s back, searching for a rear-naked choke. Before should could sink it, the Scot scrambled into Calvillo’s guard, but Calvillo immediately attacked for an armbar. She couldn’t lock it out before time ran out.
The second round was again controlled mostly by Calderwood, who continued to keep Calvillo at kicking range, attacking with leg kicks and front kicks. Calvillo, however, started scoring with a straight right to the body followed by a left hook, which she landed at least twice, bloodying Calderwood’s nose with the first one.
The final frame was another close one with Calderwood continuing to control the action for the better part of the round, still maintaining kicking distance, but Calvillo did a better job with her striking, often scoring in quick bursts.
Though Calvillo was stuffed on her first couple takedown attempts in the round, she grabbed Calderwood’s leg and tripped her to the canvas in the final minute of the fight. She acted quickly, taking Calderwood’s back and sinking a rear-naked choke, but she couldn’t cinch it down tight enough to finish the fight before time ran out.
The judge’s, however, gave Calvillo’s aggressive attempts at finishing the fight heavy credence, awarding her a unanimous decision with scores of 30-27, 30-27, and 29-28.
“This is a fight, I did what I needed to win. Yes, this is MMA. I’m not here to play her game. This is my game, my cage, I’m gonna win it how I want it. This is how I do it,” said Calvillo after the fight, not offering any apologies for not being able to finish the fight.
“She was a bigger opponent, I needed to do what I needed to win.”