ByJim Edwards, writer at
MMA story chaser from the UK
Jim Edwards

Cynthia Calvillo is a fighter who’s never going to be intimidated.

Having made her debut at in March, Calvillo has quickly established a name for herself in the UFC’s strawweight division and it was announced last week she will be the co-main event of the July 16 fight card.

Having spent time in Dallas, Texas taking part in the “Summer Kickoff” press conference, Calvillo stayed on to take in and witness dominate her challenger, Jessica Andrade. Speaking to earlier this week, Calvillo said was impressed by what she saw, but that she still feels the champion is beatable.

“Yeah it was a great performance and she’s the champion for a reason,” Calvillo said. “She’s fast, she’s accurate and she never stops. It’s up to us to find each other’s weaknesses and Joanna did that well against Jessica. The thing is, I think there's a lot of us that are up-and-coming who I think will be a lot of trouble for her. We will have to see what she does, because I’ve heard that she just wants a couple more title defenses and then she’s going to move up to flyweight, so we will see.”

While the prospect of facing Jedrzejczyk would put the feeling of fear in most normal women, Calvillo is anything but normal. The Team Alpha Male member believes the entire division is improving and that Jedrzejczyk will be beaten.

“She doesn’t intimidate me at all,” Calvillo said. “Everyone has their time as a champion when they’re dominant and when the girls that are challenging her right now don’t have the skillset to beat her. I’m not intimidated at all though. I think the women’s division is getting more and more dangerous—especially strawweight. I think we’re seeing that more and more girls are well rounded and the level is just getting better and better. Trust me, she’s not going to be the champion forever.”

While title shots might still be a while off yet, Calvillo has made an impressive mark on the division in a very short time. Despite the hype she’s built up over the last two months, the San Jose native refuses to get ahead of herself.

“It’s been a bit of a whirlwind, but for me, just like anything, I feel me winning, and getting put in these positions just makes me more hungry and more motivated,” Calvillo said. “I just want to keep active and keep on my winning streak. I took like a week off and maybe I could’ve taken a little longer, but this is a lifestyle for me—it’s my job and it’s what I enjoy doing. I don’t mind going to training—in fact, it actually excites me. I’ve got goals to accomplish and I’m nowhere near finished. I’m just so happy I’m glad I get to do this full time.”

Taking each fight as it comes is a cliché in MMA, but it’s a philosophy that Calvillo subscribes to. In her mind, the journey may change at any time, but the goal will always remain the same.

“Right now, it was my goal to get six fights within a year and I’m going to get that, as this fight with Joanne will be my sixth fight in a year,” Calvillo said. “I also want to crack the top ten so I just want to maybe get another one in before the end of the year. I will see what happens after the next fight and ask the UFC what the next best fight will be. I’m thinking maybe top five early next year or what their plans are because they’re always changing. I think it’s about time someone really shook up this division and I think I’m the one to do it. My ultimate goal is to be a world champion. I want to be the strawweight champion, and then, after that, I want to move up to flyweight. I want to take over everything and I want to beat everybody.”

Calvillo will have the opportunity to take the next step towards the belt when she faces the number seven ranked Joanne Calderwood on July 16.


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