UFC Vegas 5: Jennifer Maia Believes Win Over JoJo Puts Her Next in Line

Jennifer Maia hit the scales first Friday morning at the UFC Vegas 5 weigh-in, clocking in at 124.5lbs for her co-main event fight with Joanne Calderwood.

Perhaps she was making a statement. Maia (17-6-1) had missed weight in her last two fights. But during this week’s media day, the former Invicta FC champ told Cageside Press that she had made changes to address those issues. Including hiring a new team to guide her through the weight cutting process.

“Since my last fight, I changed my nutrition team, I changed the team that worked for me, and we planned ahead,” Maia explained. “I kept my weight low, and changed strategies for the weight cut.”

Early afternoon on Thursday, she had just about 2kgs left to cut. No doubt a big reason she appeared to have no issue Friday morning.

Now, the focus is on her fight, with a fellow flyweight who could have sat and waited for a title opportunity. Calderwood was all but set for a scrap with flyweight champ Valentina Shevchenko. But with the champion hurt, she wanted to stay active.

“Hopefully with a win, that will get me closer to the belt,” said Maia. Later, she suggested a good performance against Calderwood could help her jump the line. “I think since she was supposed to be fighting for the belt, I think with a win over her, that puts me in her place. I should be next in line.”

Maia herself was originally set up with a different opponent, Viviane Araujo. Calderwood, coming in on short notice, is actually the fight she prefers however. “We [Calderwood and Maia] have similar styles, where Viviane was more into BJJ, and that was her main quality,” Maia suggested. “This will be a better fight for me. We both fight standing, and it should be a great fight.”

Watch the full UFC Vegas 5 media day press scrum with Jennifer Maia above.