The Weight Cutting Chronicles: UFC Vegas 5

Joanne Calderwood UFC
Joanne Calderwood Credit: Karine LaRocque/

Like it or not, weight-cutting is deeply rooted in mixed martial arts. MMA adopted its weight-cutting from the sport of wrestling, where it is presumed to be very advantageous to be the biggest and strongest in your weight class. Known as the ‘fight before the fight,’ most UFC fighters cut anywhere from 5-25 pounds, with some fighters even in excess of 30 pounds.

Weight-cutting is the ultimate test of discipline and willpower. Many fighters in the sport consider it very unprofessional to miss weight. In this series, we will shine a light on fighters who cut a massive amount of weight, who have missed weight multiple times in the past, who have made weight-class changes, along with how the weight-cut and weigh-in could affect possible upcoming match-ups. Basically, every aspect of weight-cutting and how it affects the fight game.

Joanne “Bad Mofo” Calderwood (14-4 MMA, 6-4 UFC)

Strawweight (115lbs): 2-3 (UFC), Missed weight 1 time, The Ultimate Fighter Season 20 Competitor

Flyweight (125lbs): 4-1 (UFC)

Joanne Calderwood began her career in the UFC after competing on The Ultimate Fighter Season 20 at strawweight. This was the same TUF season that featured a lot of notable fighters like Rose Najmajunas, Angela Hill, and Carla Esparza as they battled for the inaugural UFC women’s strawweight title. At 5’6″ and a 65.5″ reach Joanne was definitely one of the longer fighters at strawweight.

Joanne fought in the first women’s flyweight bout in the UFC back in June of 2016 where she was able to TKO Valerie Letourneau.  After this bout, Joanne returned back to strawweight, losing to Jessica Andrae by submission.

Calderwood missed weight by two pounds for her next bout, against Cynthia Calvillo in July of 2017. Calderwood was fined as a result and the bout proceeded as a catchweight fight, ending in her losing a unanimous decision. At 31 years old, after that weight miss, Calderwood moved back up to 125lbs and has looked amazing ever since. Joanne is 4-1 in the weight class, only having lost to Katlyn Chookagian, a future flyweight title challenger.