The co-main event of UFC Fight Night: Nelson vs. Ponzinibbio in Glasgow, Scotland pitted Scottish strawweight veteran Joanne Calderwood against rising prospect Cynthia Calvillo. Calderwood did miss weight by two pounds, so this was technically a catchweight affair. The fight was close and mostly contested on the feet, but it was Calvillo who picked up the decision win after fifteen minutes of action.
Calvillo’s initial takedown attempt was thwarted as Calderwood used her hips to shake her off. Calderwood landed a nice body kick on the Team Alpha Male fighter. Calvillo pushed forward and clipped JoJo with a right hand. Calvillo had an inside low kick checked, then she dug in a straight right to the body. Calderwood caught Calvillo with a push kick to the body. Calvillo timed a takedown late in round 1 and immediately took the back, with both hooks in. Calderwood scrambled to top position but had to immediately defend an armbar. Calvillo swept her over but couldn’t extend the arm as time expired.
Not much of note happened for either woman in the striking department in the early phase of round 2. Calderwood was throwing more kicks than punches and going to the body. A left hook sent Joanne back for a split second. Calderwood’s teep knocked Calvillo off-balance as she threw a head kick. JoJo was bleeding from her nose, presumably from punches. Calvillo shot for a takedown and Calderwood denied her, then kicked her foe across the midsection. The unbeaten Calvillo scored with a good left hook, then they both smiled after she was hit by Calderwood’s spinning elbow. They traded shots in close before the second concluded.
Calvillo continued to face the kicks of Calderwood, while Calvillo had to use her counterpunching to find real success on the feet. Another takedown by Calvillo was stuffed by the home fighter. Calvillo got in a decent combination flurrying forward. She tried another one and ate an elbow on the counter. A glancing head kick was there for Calderwood, who then took a right along the side of the face. It was a tense, back-and-forth fight, and in the final minute Calvillo caught a leg and crucially took Calderwood down, had her back, and went for a rear-naked choke. The choke looked to be underneath the chin but time was up, and Calderwood avoided a heartbreaking buzzer-beating stoppage loss. Unfortunately, she couldn’t avoid a loss on the scorecards.
Official result: Cynthia Calvillo def. Joanne Calderwood by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Calvillo is now 6-0 in her pro career, of which half of those bouts have taken place in the UFC. Calderwood has dropped her second in a row, and her future may very well be at flyweight.