Jennifer Maia was taken down in the first round by Joanne Calderwood at UFC Vegas 5, but made the most of it, pulling off an armbar from her back.
The MMA world thought Joanne Calderwood had a title shot against Valentina Shevchenko locked up. Quite frankly, she appeared to have done just that. But when Viviane Araujo dropped out of her fight with Jennifer Maia at UFC Vegas 5, it was “JoJo” to the rescue.
But why? Close to a decade ago Hatsu Hioki had made a similar decision ahead of a fight with Jose Aldo. He never got another whiff of the title after. Staying active, however, is what Calderwood has always wanted. It’s what led her to MMA, back when she could no longer find opponents in Muay Thai.
So maybe we shouldn’t have been surprised to see her in the co-main event with Maia on Saturday night.
Jennifer Maia took the center of the Octagon early in the fight then landed a left straight. Joanne Calderwood was working on leg kicks and was caught with another left. Calderwood used a few front kicks to keep distance, but Maia closed in and caught her with another left hand. The work of Maia continued as she carved through the range of Calderwood. Maia threw a front kick to the head of Calderwood that was caught and she was driven to the ground as a result. Calderwood turned her off the cage and began working from full guard. Maia’s activity level from her back was high, constantly throwing punches. Calderwood found herself in an armbar suddenly and attempted to escape by placing her shin on the face of Maia. Calderwood lost her balance and the armbar got deeper, and Maia got the tap.
🇧🇷 Jennifer Maia shocks Calderwood w/ a RD 1 sub.
Main event is next ➡️ LIVE on ESPN+ pic.twitter.com/1vObSH0Lhj
— UFC (@ufc) August 2, 2020
Calderwood took the risk of taking another fight when she was already guaranteed a title shot and it did not pay off. Now the title shot is Maia’s, with champion Valentina Shevchenko tweeting out, “See you soon Jennifer Maia.”
Jennifer Maia def. Joanne Calderwood by Submission (Armbar) in Round 1 (4:29)