A women’s Flyweight clash served as the co-main event at the UFC Fight Night: Brunson vs Shahbazyan at the UFC Apex. Here, 3rd ranked Joanne Calderwood stepped in as a short-notice replacement to fight Jennifer Maia after her original opponent Viviane Araujo pulled out due to the Coronavirus.
A game Maia took the challenge head-on as a chance to stake a claim for the Valentina Shevchenko match.
Midway through the opening round, when Maia went for a kick, she got caught and taken down. ‘JoJo’ tried to establish control on the ground however Maia kept moving and tried to fight her way out. She stayed defensive, kept landing strikes, and waited for an opening.
A couple of elbows to the head saw ‘JoJo’ back off ever so slightly. This provided her opponent with a tiny opening. She elected to focus on Calderwood’s arms and tried to break the grip.
A few seconds later, she succeeded and locked in the armbar. Subsequently, she managed to secure a full-extension. After trying to resist, Calderwood succumbed to the pain and tapped with 31 seconds left in the first round.
‘JoJo’ took the fight to get wins under her belt, prepare for ‘Bullet’ and possibly move up from 3rd in the rankings. However, it backfired spectacularly as Maia earned a victory which will see her move up from 6th spot in the rankings. At the same time, Calderwood could drop a place as well.
The win gave Maia her first finish since 2015 and her first in the UFC too. It will see her move up the rankings and possibly leapfrog Calderwood to challenge for the divisional title.
‘Bullet’ was certainly impressed by what she saw at the UFC Apex. She feels that sooner or later she will have to face the Brazilian fighter and hinted at clash against the current 6th ranked fighter. She tweeted, “See you soon Jennifer Maia”
What did you make of Jennifer Maia’s incredible submission win at UFC Vegas 5? Do you see her having a claim for the Valentina Shevchenko fight after convincingly beating the next challenger?
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