Following a successful but unchallenged stint at strawweight, Cynthia Calvillo immediately made her presence felt in the UFC’s flyweight division. At UFC on ESPN 10, Calvillo managed to overtake one of the top fighters in the division in Jessica Eye. Ranked number one in the flyweight rankings, Eye was hoping to be a title contender following a recent opportunity at the UFC Flyweight Title.
Ranked tenth in the UFC’s strawweight rankings, Calvillo’s (9-1-1) unanimous decision win was welcoming in a division that needed a jolt. Current champion Valentina Shevchenko has taken down almost every opponent put in front of her, and the UFC needs fresh fights for her. Did Calvillo do enough to claim a contender spot?
One fighter doesn’t believe that’s the case. Former contender Katlyn Chookagian (14-3), ranked second, made it known that she wants to face the shiny new toy within the division.
— Katlyn Chookagian (@blondefighter) June 14, 2020
Following recent events, FIGHT SPORTS goes into detail on why a bout between Calvillo and Chookagian makes the most sense for the UFC, via Matchmaker Mania.
When it comes to Chookagian, “Blonde Fighter” requires a clear path. The 31-year-old Lost to Valentina back in February at UFC 247 for the UFC Flyweight Title. Believed to be ready, she ended up losing via TKO. On May 30, she rebounded with a win over her sister Antonina. Ranked twelfth, Altonina was not ready for the step-up in competition, as Chookagian looked like a fighter out for vengeance. One can’t earn a title opportunity through a squash match, however, and Chookagian knows it.
Calvillo, having already beaten one of the top fighters in the division, should not be pushed to the moon right away. Even with four takedowns, 137 total strikes, and 7:46 of control time against Eye, Calvillo is still in need of a challenge. Regarding Chookagian’s callout, Calvillo was ready for her or anyone in her way.
“I’m down to fight everybody. Just keep me busy,” Calvillo stated after the fight, via Yahoo Sports. “Bring it on. Let’s do it.”
Sure to shoot up in the divisional rankings, Calvillo could face Montana De La Rosa, ranked 11th, who she has a win over while with LFA. Calvillo could also face the winner of Roxanne Modafferi v. Lauren Murphy. Given the fact that both Calvillo and Chookagian had quick nights with limited damage (all depending on a doctor’s visit for Calvillo), having a fight between two fresh fighters ready to go is something UFC President Dana White always appreciates.
Shevchenko may end up defending her title against Joanne Calderwood. The two were reportedly set for UFC 251 according to a February report, but Valentina had to back out due to a leg injury. Due to COVID-19, several events for the UFC had to be worked around. The hope is that Valentina can fight again before the end of the year.
By taking on other contenders, the path to superstardom in the flyweight division could end up being a rewarding one for Calvillo. Chookagian wants the challenge, can the UFC manage to book this fight right away?