UFC Phoenix Results: Cynthia Calvillo Edges Casey In Decision

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Cynthia Calvillo Credit: Mike Sloan/Sherdog.com

Yet again, judges proved to be no friend of Cortney Casey, as Cynthia Calvillo edged past her to a decision win at UFC Phoenix.

Cortney Casey towers over most strawweights, standing at 5’7″, but her size advantage has not led to UFC success up until this point, owning a 4-5 record in the Octagon. After tough split decision losses to Felice Herrig and Michelle Waterson, the former college soccer player was able to bounce back with a split decision of her own over former Invicta FC champion Angela Hill in her last fight.

Cynthia Calvillo, a Team Alpha Male product, seemed to be the next big thing after two submissions in her first two UFC appearances on consecutive pay-per-view main cards. A win over Joanne Calderwood solidified her contendership, but a tough loss to former champion Carla Esparza sent her backwards. She was able to bounce back with a submission win over Poliana Botelho, but missed weight for the contest.

The first round was a tale of two cities (or two fights anyway), as the first half of the round seemed to have Casey in control as Calvillo was having trouble getting past the range of the taller fighter. However as the round went on Calvillo seemed to find her range and started landing the more effective and higher volume of strikes. As Calvillo went back to her corner, you could tell she was oozing confidence as she was motioning to the crowd.

In the second, Calvillo continued to chip at Casey’s legs with a variety of kicks, landing them at will. Calvillo still pushed the pressure in round two, as she would land combinations, while Casey was only landing one shot at a time. Calvillo, despite being the more accomplished grappler, couldn’t get the fight to the ground however, though she appeared to be doing more work on the feet. Yet the tide turned near the end of the round as Casey began putting combinations together, looking better on the feet as the second frame came to a close.

The third round was a back and forth affair, as Calvillo and Casey showcased the best that they had to offer. Casey was the one more often on the offensive,  putting Calvillo on her back foot in the third round. Beyond that, Calvillo was having issues with her lead leg after absorbing a number of kicks. However Calvillo was still landing her fair share of shots as well and finding a home for that right hand. As the fight came to a close — ending with the pair standing and trading — both women were celebrating believing they had won the fight.

In the end, it was Cynthia Calvillo with her hand raised. A close fight, the errant 30-27 not withstanding. The win was the second in a row for Calvillo.

Cynthia Calvillo def. Cortney Casey by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)