Scotland’s Joanne Calderwood will get the next crack at UFC flyweight champion Valentina, but the MMA community isn’t giving her much of a shot.
Ahead of the fight, Calderwood has been pegged as a significant +800 underdog, while the champ Shevchenko has been labelled a gargantuan -1200 favorite. Most fight fans and pundits seem to consider this spread fair.
Speaking on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show shortly after her title fight with Shevchenko was announced, Calderwood reacted to this clear lack of confidence from the MMA community.
As you might expect, the soft-spoken Scotswoman was nothing but class.
“I know [Shevchenko] has earned it with everything she’s done,” Calderwood said. “I just know as long as my team respect me and believe in me — and Valentina, I know she respects me as the next opponent for her — that’s all I can ask for.”
That being said, Calderwood admitted she might spend a little less time online in the lead-up to her fight with Shevchenko so as to avoid negative energy.
“I might have to stay off the Internet cause there’s a lot of ‘oh man, [Shevchenko is] unbeatable’ and ‘Jojo’s going to get her ass beat’ or whatever it is,” Calderwood said. “There’s that doubt in everyone’s mind, but [Shevchenko] has earned that. She’s put herself there.
“I’m going to get my head down and work my ass off and show up on the night.”
Joanne Calderwood has not fought since September, when she defeated Andrea Lee via split decision to assert herself as one of the top dogs in the UFC flyweight division. Prior to that, she lost a decision to Shevchenko’s latest victim, Katlyn Chookagian.
She fights Shevchenko at UFC 251 on June 6 in Perth, Australia. Do you think she can pull off an upset for the ages Down Under?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 2/25/2020.