Cynthia Calvillo released after loss at UFC 287

Longtime UFC talent Cynthia Calvillo competed for six years in the strawweight and flyweight divisions.

By: Victor Rodriguez | 2 months ago
Cynthia Calvillo released after loss at UFC 287
Cynthia Calvillo awaits the start of her fight at UFC 287. | Imago/Alejandro Salazar

Cynthia Calvillo’s time in the UFC appears to have come to an unfortunate end after a long and dizzying run. That news comes according to the UFC Roster Watch Twitter account, which tracks changes in the UFC’s list of active fighters and on the promotion’s website. While it’s not definitive proof Calvillo has been cut, that’s usually what the removal indicates without the presence of other obvious extenuating circumstances.

Cynthia Calvillo started red hot

A mainstay in the UFC’s strawweight and flyweight divisions, Calvillo first joined the promotion back in 2017, where she made her debut against Amanda Bobby Cooper and racked up three straight wins. That auspicious start included another win the following month against Pearl Gonzalez, and another win three months later against Joanne Wood.

Following the initial run after her debut, Cynthia Calvillo was paired up against Carla Esparza, already a former champion at the time. That resulted in a decision loss, which Calvillo took in stride and went on to earn back to back victories against Poliana Botelho and Cortney Casey, followed by a draw against Marina Rodriguez in December of 2019. Calvillo then moved up to the flyweight division, earning a decision victory over Jessica Eye in July of the following year.

Setbacks ensued

After the win against Eye, unfortunately, things have largely gone downhill for Cynthia Calvillo. Winless since 2020, she’s lost five straight against quality opponents in perennial top 5 fighters Katlyn Chookagian and Jessica Andrade, then to more limited strikers in Andrea Lee and Nina Nunes. This past weekend, she took a decision loss to wily wrestle-boxer Lupita Godinez, who brought a scrappy style somewhat similar to Calvillo herself.

Fighting is a rough business. Sometimes even immensely talented fighters don’t reach the levels of success expected of them. Cynthia Calvillo was an excellent addition to the women’s ranks, especially the strawweight division where she debut.

Unfortunately, even in the midst of her success she began struggling to make weight, missing against both Rodriguez and Botelho—which prompted the move to flyweight. It seems as though it’s been hard for the Syndicate talent to find traction since. With her removal from the UFC’s online roster it appears she’s lost her spot in the promotion. It’s unfortunate considering her skillset and at times truly crafty performances in the cage, but the consistency hasn’t been there lately.

Heavy but warranted praise

Sometimes a fighter comes in with little fanfare and ends up turning heads in short order with their performance. After her submission win at UFC 210 over Pearl Gonzalez, the future was looking bright for Cynthia Calvillo. During the post-fight press conference, UFC president Dana White compared her favorably to Ronda Rousey and Conor McGregor, stating that her performance impressed him so much that she could be a future star. That was six years ago, and things didn’t quite pan out that way.

That doesn’t mean it’s all over. There may still be opportunities for her in other avenues of combat sports, and it’s also entirely possible that she may end up winning some fights outside of the UFC with a return. The only social media activity since the fight so far was this post on Instagram, in which she thanked her supporters, team and coaching staff for their efforts.

Having been in the game since kicking off her amateur career in 2012 and now aged 35, a comeback is going to be just that much tougher. Hopefully she can find the success that’s eluded her in recent years outside the Octagon.

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About the author
Victor Rodriguez
Victor Rodriguez

Victor Rodriguez has been a writer and podcaster for Bloody Elbow since 2015. He started his way as a lowly commenter and moderator to become the miscreant he is now. He often does weekly bits on fringe martial arts items across the globe, oddball street combat pieces, previews, analysis, and some behind-the-scenes support. He has trained in wrestling, Karate, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and the occasional Muay Thai and Judo lesson here and there. Victor has also been involved with acting and audio editing projects. He lives in Pennsylvania where he plays way too many video games and is an S-rank dad.

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