Joanne Calderwood may not be getting the next title shot after all.
Calderwood was set to take on Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 251 when it was supposed to take place in Perth, Australia. Yet, an injury to champion and the COVID-19 pandemic halted those plans. But, all signs still pointed to her fighting Shevchenko until now.
Yet, on August 1, Vivane Araujo was expected to take on Jennifer Maia in a pivotal flyweight bout. Now, Brazilian outlet, Combate has since reported Araujo has tested positive for COVID-19 and Calderwood has agreed to step in on short notice.
Calderwood returned to the win column last time out with a decision win over Andrea Lee at UFC 242. Before that, she dropped a decision to Katlyn Chookagian at UFC 238 in a scrap that was to determine the next contender for Shevchenko.
In her UFC tenure, Calderwood is 6-4 but has had more success at 125-pounds where she is 3-1. She is currently ranked third at flyweight and has notable wins over Ariane Lipski, Cortney Casey, and Valeri Letourneau.
Jennifer Maia, meanwhile, lost to Chookagian last time out. The loss snapped her two-fight winning streak where she beat Roxanne Modafferi and Alexis Davis. The problem as of late for the Brazilian is she has missed weight in her past two fights in the UFC.
Although Joanne Calderwood hails from Scotland, she does live and train in Las Vega. So, it allows her to take this fight on short notice. The event is pegged to take place at the UFC Apex.
With Calderwood taking this fight on short notice, it has led to speculation on what is next for Shevchenko. Perhaps, the UFC is looking to the Amanda Nunes trilogy or is going to Cynthia Calvillo as the next contender.
Yet, with a win on August 1 over Maia, it would be hard to deny Calderwood a title shot.
Who do you think will win, Joanne Calderwood or Jennifer Maia?