Cortney Casey wants to the fight a top 10 strawweight should she beat Cynthia Calvillo at UFC Phoenix.
The 11th ranked UFC strawweight spoke exclusively with Bloody Elbow ahead of her fight. Casey knows MMA math does not add up, so she does not put any stock in the opponent’s she has shared with Calvillo. Casey’s first two professional losses were to Pearl Gonzalez and Joanne Calderwood. In the last two years, Calvillo has conquered both those women.
“I don’t think a lot of people know what goes on outside of the fight,” Casey argues. “I fought JoJo Calderwood on 10 days notice... and got Fight of the Night. Pearl Gonzalez is Pearl Gonzalez. I was young, I think it was my second fight. There was a lot of controversy in that fight as well.”
According to Casey, it doesn’t matter who Calvillo has faced.
“I don’t really care who she fought, who I fought... Everyone has a puncher’s chance.”
Casey’s last five fights have all ended by way of decision. The last three were all split decisions — a victory over Angela Hill and losses to Michelle Waterson and Felice Herring before that.
“I go into every fight trying to finish,” she assures. “Who knows what the judges are watching.”
The Arizona-native believes she has the advantage in every facet of the game.
“No matter what I have an advantage anywhere it goes. I’m just a little bit better in all those areas,” she says. “I think just getting in her face and putting the pressure on her will make a huge difference.” In fact, Casey even has a Mystic Mac prediction for the fight’s outcome. “I’m going to say a second round finish.”
Casey is sitting just outside of the top 10 and a win over 12th-ranked Calvillo may not do much for her status in the strawweight division. A win over Calvillo, however, might just earn her a top 10 opponent.
“I’ve been asking for Carla [Esparza], Tecia [Torres],” Casey says. “Nina Ansaroff. She just won. She’s a good friend of mine. I like her a lot, but if we have to fight we have to fight. I think that would be a good one.”
UFC Phoenix takes place on Sunday, Feb. 17. Francis Ngannou meets Cain Velasquez in the main event and James Vick and Paul Felder knuckle up in the co-main. The main card also boasts the debuting Kron Gracie vs. Alex Caceres and top-ranked bantamweights Jimmie Rivera and Aljamain Sterling wage war in the preliminary headliner. Keep up with Bloody Elbow on Sunday for live updates and highlights from all the action.