UFC 266’s Cynthia Calvillo: “I Like to Go For the Throat Right Away”

Las Vegas, NV — Cynthia Calvillo has never been one to back down from a challenge. Quite the opposite. The UFC flyweight prefers to take the toughest fights possible, as a form of motivation.

That’s the case once again at UFC 266, where Calvillo (9-2-1) returns to take on the formidable Jessica Andrade.

“I feel like a lot of people take [the safe] approach and it might be smart and stuff like that, but the way I like to run the show is I like to go for the throat right away,” Calvillo told media outlets including Cageside Press during this week’s UFC 266 media day. “I like fighting the toughest fighters. I called out Jessica Andrade for that reason.”

Andrade, of course, is a former strawweight champion who actually started out in the UFC’s bantamweight division. “Bate Estaca” is coming off a loss to women’s flyweight champ Valentina Shevchenko, while Calvillo has been on the sidelines rehabbing a surgically repaired shoulder.

“I had come off of a loss in my last fight, had shoulder surgery, and then here I am, I see her, I’m not even fully cleared and I’m like ‘do you want to fight in September?'” Calvillo said in regards to her callout of Andrade. “It’s just what I do. I love tough fights, because it motivates me, it pushes me to strive to be prepared. When I’m in camp, I get mean, it definitely motivates me when I have such a dangerous opponent like that.”

Speaking of Shevchenko, the champion will fight later in the night on Saturday, taking on “Lucky” Lauren Murphy. Despite Murphy’s five-fight win streak, Calvillo isn’t giving her much of a chance against the defending champion.

“If we look at the way fights take place for Lauren Murphy, she usually wins her fights by splits, barely wins her fights,” observed Calvillo. “When Valentina fights her opponents, she dominantly beats them, either finishes them, or decisively [wins a decision]. And for that reason— to be the champion, you can’t barely beat the champion. And Lauren, kind of barely scrapes by winning those fights. I just don’t see her pulling it off. I think she’s going to come out short.”

Having made the move to Las Vegas, where Calvillo now considers herself a full-time resident, the flyweight has plenty of help at her disposal. Which has been a benefit overcoming that recent shoulder injury.

“I’ve had to deal with so many different injuries in my last ten years that I’ve definitely had to become more patient and learning. And also having the [UFC Performance Institute] helps out a ton. They’re pretty much overseeing my recovery the whole way. So that’s obviously a ton of help.”

Watch the full UFC 266 media day appearance from Cynthia Calvillo above. More coverage from the event can be found below.