Marina Rodriguez is ready for a war at UFC DC this weekend, but she’s not expecting a noticeably different Cynthia Calvillo.
Washington, D.C. — The co-main event at UFC on ESPN 7 could potentially give birth to another title contender in the women’s strawweight division. As one half of the equation, Marina Rodriguez (12-0-1) has been fairly vocal about expecting a war with opponent Cynthia Calvillo — if, that is, Calvillo is willing to stand with her.
Calvillo, however, has been out of action since February. It’s hard to tell what to expect from her, though Rodriguez told media outlets including Cageside Press at the UFC DC media day Thursday that she wasn’t anticipating a drastically different fighter in the octagon Saturday.
“As much as we’re always evolving and getting, better, I don’t think she had enough time to change that much in her game,” Rodriguez said via translator. “What I’m expecting is for her to be a little bit more hungry than before, because of the time off. So I think that is probably going to be the major difference.”
“We’re always getting ready for wars, so whatever version of Calvillo comes there, we’re going to be ready for her,” she added. “We’re well-trained and ready for anything she can throw at us.”
Rodriguez enters the co-main event at UFC on ESPN 7 as a replacement for Claudia Gadelha. Her fellow Brazilian had a couple of injuries including a broken finger that forced her out of the fight, however. That was back in late October, and despite having just about six weeks for this camp, Rodriguez doesn’t consider it a short-notice fight.
“It wasn’t exactly a shorter camp, because right after the Tecia [Torres] fight, we were already asking to fight in December,” she explained. “We didn’t get the fight at first, but kept on training, expecting a December opportunity, and that’s what happened.”
The Torres fight, which marked Rodriguez’s 12th victory as a pro, went down in early August at UFC Uruguay. Despite earning a victory over her biggest name yet, however, Rodriguez still seems somewhat overlooked in the women’s strawweight division.
“Honestly I don’t really care that much about that,” Rodriguez said of that notion. “I know that if I do my job well, I go there, get the results, the attention’s going to come. When it’s the right time, it’s going to happen. I don’t really have any wish to rush it right now.”
Watch the full UFC DC media day press scrum with Marina Rodriguez above!