Cynthia Calvillo is officially done with the 115-pound weight division.
After closing out 2019 fighting Marina Rodriguez to a majority draw — a fight in which she missed weight after her body began to shut down during her cut — Calvillo has made the decision to make the move up to the women’s flyweight division. The 32-year-old Calvillo will return to the division for the first time since her pro debut in August 2016.
The move is not just for the health of Calvillo, but a big part of the decision is to get the most out of the work put in leading into the fight for herself and the coaches around her.
“With my age, I’m 32, my body has changed since the time I made my [UFC] debut and it was really hard to do those weight cuts consistently,” Calvillo told BJPENN.com. “I’ve fought so many times keeping my body weight low that it might have been damaging to my body. I’m learning that now and when I first got to the UFC, there was no flyweight division. There was only a strawweight division and I said I’ll give it a shot. I made it, I kept wanting to put myself through hell every single time and I did do that. That was a part of it, everybody cuts a bunch of weight. Girls and guys cutting weight, it’s just not the same.
“One of the things that made me realize [I need to make a move], for me to give the performances that, not only do I deserve with the work that I put in, but the work that my coaches put in and the support around me… I can make 125 easy. I’ll probably be a smaller fighter at 125 but me and my team, the people around me have decided that it’s better for me to fight at flyweight.”
Cynthia Calvillo made her Octagon debut at UFC 209, submitting Amanda Cooper in the first round. She would go on to pick up wins over Pearl Gonzalez and Joanne Calderwood before suffering the only loss of her pro career to Carla Esparza at UFC 219. Calvillo would pick up two more victories, but would miss weight twice over her last three strawweight appearances.
With the move up to a healthier weight class, Calvillo already holds career wins over Calderwood, Montana De La Rosa, and Gillian Robertson who all compete in the women’s 125 pound division. Calvillo hopes to become, perhaps, the women’s version of a legend who made things happen despite being smaller in stature.
“I want to give everybody the best me and maybe I can be like Frankie Edgar — not cut much weight, be a smaller fighter and he won still,” Calvillo said. “I’ve fought at 125 before, but it’s very appealing for me to be in the strawweight division because I love that division. There’s some monsters there, it’s the deepest division in the UFC, it’s very exciting for me. I can’t do that to myself so I’m giving myself a shot at the flyweight division.”
2019 was a bit chaotic for Cynthia Calvillo with injuries, opponent switches, finding a new camp and the overall rollercoaster ride the fight game can bring. With a year of learning and growing under her belt, Calvillo is ready to make an impact in 2020 and believes her flyweight debut will happen by the spring.
“I’m hoping, I think I might have a fight lined up in April,” Calvillo said. “I’m very fortunate that the UFC still wants to provide me with opportunities. I’m very thankful to be in these positions and I think this next fight is going to be a good one. It’s gonna be great for the fans and more motivation [for me]. So, look out and get ready to hear about an exciting fight for my debut in the flyweight division.”
Do you agree with Cynthia Calvillo’s decision to move to 125?