Tag Archive for Calvillo
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Strawweight grapplers Carla Esparza and Cynthia Calvillo faced off last night (Dec. 30, 2017) at UFC 219 inside the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Esparza has struggled to build momentum since losing her title. Luckily, this was a step back up in competition for Esparza, as she returned to facing top 10 opponents. Additionally, it was more high-profile than her recent bouts, which added up to a big opportunity for the former champ.
Calvillo entered this bout with three previous UFC victories in 2017 and a ton of momentum behind her. Building on her win streak with a win over a former champion would go a long way, potentially securing Calvillo a title shot.
Calvillo opened the fight with real aggression, stalking Esparza and landing an early takedown. From bottom position, Esparza clung tight and limited Calvillo’s offense, but she wasn’t able to return to her feet either.
When Esparza attempted an armbar from guard — which, to her credit, was pretty well setup — Calvillo was able to pass into side control. Once in a more dominant position, Calvillo opened up with her ground strikes, landing some solid shots and controlling the scrambles.
Esparza countered a rear naked choke attempt to land in top position, but she still lost the round badly.
Calvillo continued to stalk into the second, whereas Esparza burst in-and-out with combinations. Both women landed some strong right hands, but Esparza seemed to be less comfortable in exchanges.
All in all, it was a pretty close round. Calvillo seemed to land the harder shots, but Esparza had a slight volume edge. Esparza also landed a pair of takedowns, but Calvillo was back up to her feet just seconds later both times.
Things were very much up in the air with five minutes remaining.
Calvillo started the third round strong, landing a big right hand and stuffing a takedown with some offense of her own. Esparza answered with some nice low kicks, but otherwise was having difficulty landing consistently.
The former champion did find her range a bit more in the second half of the round, but neither woman was able to find a home for her takedown. The two finished the round with a flurry, but neither fighter was really able to dominate.
Ultimately, it was still pretty up in the air as Bruce Buffer made the call, awarding Carla Esparza the decision victory.
While this was a very close fight, Esparza’s improvement on her feet kept her in the fight. Historically, she’s never been able to win a fight without dominating the wrestling. That didn’t happen opposite Calvillo, but Esparza’s in-and-out striking allowed her to pick up some points.
The most important weapon for Esparza was the low kick. Despite the increase in kickboxing skill and confidence, Esparza still did not look super comfortable in the pocket, but her low kicks allowed her to do damage without trading. Plus, the low kick is a great weapon opposite a pressuring fighter.
After this win, Esparza should be given a top contender. For example, Karolina Kowalkiewicz is a top five Strawweight in need of an opponent, and that fight would make plenty of sense.
It’s been a fast rise for Calvillo, and this close loss does slow it. She looked great in the first round — and her wrestling/grappling was very on point for the entire 15 minutes — but she didn’t show her opponent enough respect on the feet. Esparza didn’t beat her up or even do more damage, but judges tend to value volume more than anything else when there isn’t a knock down.
Ultimately, it’s a learning experience for Calvillo, who is still extremely young in her professional career. She’s still a top 10 fighter and close to the mix, so a match up with a fellow top 10 fighter coming off a loss — someone like Michelle Waterson? — could be next.
Last night, Carla Esparza out-worked her opponent to win a close decision. What’s next for the former champion?
For complete UFC 219 “Cyborg vs. Holm” results and play-by-play, click HERE!
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Strawweight scrappers Amanda Cooper and Cynthia Calvillo battled last night (March 4, 2017) at UFC 209 inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
A runner-up on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF), Cooper had definitely proven herself a solid prospect thanks to her run on the show and victory over Anna Elmose. While the promotion to the main card may have been unexpected, it was a solid opportunity for both women to gain more exposure with a big win. While fight fans could be forgiven for not knowing exactly who Cynthia Calvillo was ahead of her UFC debut, I am perhaps the best person available to fill you in. One of my training partners at Team Alpha Male, Calvillo is a strong grappler with a mean right hand, and she showed off those skills last night.
After about 90 seconds of quick striking exchanges between the two athletes, Calvillo caught a kick and dumped her opponent to the mat. Calvillo quickly jumped onto an anaconda choke, and while it failed, Calvillo was able to immediately transition into the back mount from there thanks to some impressive flexibility. From there, Calvillo looked up the body triangle and began to hunt for the choke. Before long, Calvillo found her way under the neck, flattening her opponent out and forcing the tap.
It’s pretty hard to imagine a better debut for Calvillo. On just a couple week’s notice, Calvillo found herself on the main card of a pay-per-view (PPV), and she capitalized by putting on a pretty dominant performance and finishing this one early. It was not secret in the lead up to this match that Calvillo was a grappling specialist who would likely attempt to drag the boxer into her world. The result proved precisely why that was a smart plan, but Calvillo also held her own on the feet, landing some solid punches and working strong combinations.
Following this short finish, Calvillo has established herself as a serious prospect at 115 lbs. Still just four fights into her professional career, a match up with a ranked but non-top five opponent would make the most sense, such as someone like Randa Markos.
She also shouted out Joseph Morales in the post-fight interview, a Flyweight prospect that the UFC would be wise to invest in.
As for Cooper, this is a serious bummer. “ABC” is a definite prospect, but she accepted a short-notice bout with a more developed athlete. Calvillo made quick work of her, and now Cooper will be sent back to the bottom of the division. On the ground, she was simply out-matched. Hopefully, a slow rise will allow her to work her way back into big fights.
Last night at UFC 209, Cynthia Calvillo made an excellent debut via first round submission. Is Calvillo a future title contender?
For complete UFC 209: “Woodley vs Thompson 2” results and play-by-play, click HERE!
Ecstatic Cynthia Calvillo doubts she’ll return to work at The Cheesecake Factory with successful UFC debut
LAS VEGAS – Cynthia Calvillo talks to the media about her submission win over Amanda Cooper at UFC 209, making her promotional debut on a UFC pay-per-view card, possibly not returning to her regular job at The Cheesecake Factory, and much more.