Warrior of the Week: Cynthia Calvillo and her big break at UFC 266

Warrior of the Week: Cynthia Calvillo and her big break at UFC 266

Although she is very close to turning 10 years as a mixed martial arts fighter, Cynthia Calvillo has a short career in the UFC. In just nine fights he has managed to rank as classified in two different divisions and UFC 266 may be the opportunity he needs to get to his first belt fight.

The San Jose, Californa-born but Mexican-born has faced elite rivals since reaching 115 pounds last year, including two former challengers Jessica Eye (whom she defeated) and Katlyn Chookagian, who beat her for decision at UFC 255. But now, Calvillo faces Jessica Andrade, the former 115-pound champion.

“I have 10 months without fighting, happy, nervous, but ready. Not leaving anything behind in preparation has motivated me a lot. I am very close to being a champion, and beating a former champion like Jessica Andrade will bring me closer to the title and now I have felt much better than other times, ”Calvillo explained to ESPN Deportes hours before the fight.

Calvillo’s arrival in the UFC was sudden, with three victories in four months before facing another former straw division monarch, Carla Esparza, who took away his undefeated as a professional.

From there came a series of career changes, two fights in which he failed to give the division limit straw and a change of camp when he left Alpha Male in Sacramento. Today, settled in Las Vegas and comfortable at flyweight, Calvillo has dominant champion Valentina Shevchenko on his mind.

“Now there are no more rivals in the top 5 who have not faced Valentina, just me. So beating a former champion brings me closer to her, it will be for the next one. I am always ready to fight against all of them ”, she added.

The championship goal doesn’t make her underestimate her rival, as Andrade has wins in three of the promotion’s four women’s divisions, including wins over Rose Namajunas, Raquel Pennington, Joanne Calderwood, Angela Hill, Tecia Torres and Chookagian, among other

“She is dangerous, she is very strong, at any moment she can touch you and knock you out. We have to take into account and have good defense with our hands. He showed many holes in front of Valentina, but we have to be careful ”, he explained. Andrade fell to Shevchenko in April in a challenge for the 125 title at UFC 261.

Calvillo’s family is of Nayarit origin and the fighter has taken advantage of the last few years to get closer to her Mexican roots, mainly with teammates like María José Favela, whom she corner in her debut at Invicta FC.

Armed with that ‘war cry’, Calvillo will open the PPV card of the event with the opportunity to beat Andrade and call Valentina, who defends her title against Lauren Murphy in the co-star. And if so, we could face the new challenger for the 125 title.

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