Joanne Calderwood’s gamble of sorts backfired in a big way, and now her title shot belongs to Jennifer Maia.
Following Maia’s first-round armbar win over Calderwood in Saturday’s UFC Vegas 5 co-main event, UFC president Dana White confirmed that Maia will be women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko’s next opponent.
“I have a lot of respect for [Joanne Calderwood], she’s been working hard, taking her career very serious and has been back on track since she moved to Vegas. Jennifer looked damn good tonight so it makes sense for her and Valentina to fight.”
Calderwood was scheduled to face Shevchenko at UFC 251 in June before Shevchenko withdrew due to injury. Instead of waiting for Shevchenko to return to action, Calderwood accepted a short notice bout with Maia after Viviane Araujo tested positive for COVID-19.
Maia was coming off a loss to Katlyn Chookagian last year, having missed weight for a second consecutive bout. She made weight this time around, got herself back in the win column, won a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” bonus, and now she’ll face Shevchenko next.
As for the champ, it seems as if she is ready for her new title challenger.
See you soon Jennifer Maia
— Valentina Shevchenko (@BulletValentina) August 2, 2020
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