Flyweight Contender To Compete In Last-Minute August UFC Fight

Could an opportunity to earn another win end up being a huge risk for Joanne Calderwood?

According to Combate, the third-ranked flyweight contender will be competing at UFC on ESPN+ 31 on August 1. She will face off against Jennifer Maia, replacing Viviane Araujo, who just tested positive for COVID-19. The UFC has yet to confirm the news.

“Unfortunately this week I tested positive for COVID-19. I don’t know how I caught it,” Araujo ended up telling MMA Junkie. “I was taking all precautions and training with only two fighters. They tested negative. Only I tested positive. That’s it. I was very sad that the fight was canceled and also worried for my health.

“Here in Brazil, the contamination rate is very high. Despite all precautions, I caught it. I am feeling mostly OK with only mild cold symptoms. My doctors are keeping an eye on me. The goal is to recover so I can book my next fight.”

Calderwood (14-4) was set to face off against UFC Flyweight Champion Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 251. Shevchenko, however, had to back out of the fight due to a leg injury. It is unknown how long she will be out. Calderwood is 3-1 in her last four fights. After losing to Katlyn Chookagian at UFC 238, “JoJo” beat Andrea Lee via split decision back in September at UFC 242.

Maia (17-6-1) is ranked sixth in the UFC’s flyweight rankings. She had her two-fight win streak snapped by Chookagian back in November at UFC 244. The 31-year-old has missed weight the past two fights, resulting in catchweight bouts being performed.

Calderwood must now pass all of her COVID-19 tests to make it to the area and fight.

UFC on ESPN+ 31 will be taking place inside the UFC’s APEX Center in Las Vegas. The main event will be Holly Holm v. Irene Aldana in a bantamweight bout.

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