Joanne Calderwood Says Goodbye To Flyweight Title Shot After Devastating Loss To Jennifer Maia At UFC VEGAS 5

Joanne Calderwood Says Goodbye To Flyweight Title Shot After Devastating Loss To Jennifer Maia At UFC VEGAS 5

Looking to stay active while Valentina Shevchenko recovers from an injury, Joanne Calderwood took a risk by fighting Jennifer Maia at UFC Vegas 5. It ultimately backfired and she has now lost her title shot.

Joanne Calderwood took a gamble by accepting a fight against Jennifer Maia at UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas and while UFC president Dana White praised her decision, it may have ultimately cost her a title shot. Calderwood was next in line to face Valentina Shevchenko for the title. But rather than wait for Shevchenko to recover from knee surgery, Calderwood opted to fight Maia in the UFC Vegas 5 co-main event.

The No. 6-ranked Maia took advantage of the golden opportunity and submitted Calderwood in the first round. Maia set the tone early with aggressive striking that Calderwood struggled to defend.

About midway through the round, Calderwood caught a leg kick and took the fight the canvas. Calderwood secured top position but Maia, who has a background in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, worked for a submission from her back. With less than a minute to go in the opening round, Maia locked in an armbar, forcing her opponent to tap at the 4:29 mark.

The impressive performance by Maia caught the attention of the champion, Valentina Shevchenko, who tweeted: "See you soon Jennifer Maia." 

“I’m very happy,” Maia said following the win. “I’m getting better every time I [get in] here. I feel I’m getting ready for the title. Now I want to fight with the champion. It’s going to be a pleasure to fight Valentina Shevchenko.”

Maia (18-6-1) entered the evening as the No. 6-ranked flyweight, but a win over No. 3-ranked Calderwood (14-5) could see her jump in the rankings and become next in line to challenge Shevchenko.

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