A very excited Cynthia Calvillo arrived at UFC 255’s Fight Week knowing what could potentially be on the line with a win over Katlyn Chookagian.
Calvillo debuted in the UFC women’s flyweight division by defeating Jessica Eye earlier this year. Eye, at the time, was ranked high up in the weight class. As is Chookagian, who is currently #2 in the division.
So Calvillo (9-1-1) feels that a title shot should be on the line with a win this Saturday. After all, the math checks out. “I’d say yes. I mean, I beat the number one contender, I beat the number two contender. I feel like I should be going up not down, so it’s pretty apparent that I should be very deserving of the title shot.”
Speaking to Cageside Press Calvillo discussed the feeling of returning to the 125lb weight class, where she competed at times prior to her UFC career. “To be honest, it has been amazing,” said Calvillo. “Coming back to 25, they feed me a lot. So it’s really different to be able to fuel my body for performance versus fueling my body to make weight.”
“To do that before the fight, it can mess with your head a lot,” she explained, “especially if you have rough weight cuts, and you’re like, ‘Oh, I gotta go out there, am I gonna really be able to push the pace that I want? This weight cut’s going to be an issue.’ Stressors, they effect us physically, not just mentally. So it’s been such a big game changer, I feel good that I can put all my focus in training.”
There was a point where it looked like Calvillo would be lined up with the surging Lauren Murphy, who is on a four-fight win streak, rather than Chookagian, who is coming off a loss to Jessica Andrade. However, that fight never panned out. Asked about what prevented the pairing from coming to fruition, Calvillo indicated that from her side, she agreed to the fight.
“Honestly at this point [Lauren Murphy’s] not even at my concern. They offered the fight to her on November 21. She said ‘No,’ that’s all I heard,” recalled Calvillo. “I didn’t hear about any other dates. I don’t know anything about that. All I heard [from the UFC] was that ‘we’re trying to get you on November 21. Because we have an opening. Do you want to fight Lauren?’ I said ‘Yes. 100%.” However, after hearing Murphy declined the date, she was offered Katlyn Chookagian. Calvillo agreed, “and this is what we’re doing now. Nothing else matters.”
Calvillo did take umbrage with comments Murphy made about her taking the easy way out, however. “I think she also made a mention as far as me finding a way out of fighting her, but how is me taking a fight against someone who’s higher ranked than her, and also beat her, taking the [easy] way out? So she’s a little bit backwards there. She can just sit down and think whatever she wants to think.”
Ultimately, Calvillo’s focus is on the belt. And she’s not frustrated by Jessica Andrade potentially jumping the line at 125lbs. “My shot is gonna come. I’m gonna beat these girls. It’s gonna come. I’m really not upset about it,” exclaimed Calvillo. “I just want to fight Jessica Andrade, she’s a real contender. Obviously I want to fight for the title. I’m down to fight her. I’m down to fight whoever I need to fight.”
UFC 255 takes place Saturday, November 21 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. The main card airs live on PPV following online and televised prelims.