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Joanne Calderwood – Scotland’s First Contender?

Joanne “Jojo” Calderwood has been the one constant for Scottish UFC and MMA fans since emerging as an exciting Muay Thai style fighter on The Ultimate Fighter: A Champion Will Be Crowned, in 2014. This season was to crown the Inaugural Women’s UFC featherweight champion. The event included some huge future names of the division, Carla Esparza and ‘Thug’ Rose Namajunas, to name just a few. The latter of the 2 would be where Jojo’s Ultimate Fighter journey would stop, in a fight of the season bout that would earn her a $25k bonus and a chance to redeem herself on the season finale undercard.

Before the UFC – Muay Thai

Before bursting onto the scenes on The Ultimate Fighter, Jojo had built herself quite the reputation on the local U.K Muay Thai circuit. She fell in love with the brutal form of striking at a young age, 13, after taking it up because of her brother. Calderwood went on to amass an impressive 19-2 record. As well as winning the ISKA Word Flyweight title, IKF European Title and the WKL European Title. She was also ranked #2 by the Professional Muay Thai Federation.

Early MMA Days

Joanne Calderwood jumped around local promotions and Super Fight League in her opening few MMA fights. She was 3-0 going into her Invicta debut vs Ashley Cummins. Calderwood ended the fight early with a brutal knee to the ribs of her opponent that earned her a KO of the night. She would then make her Main Card debut for Invicta with another win against Livia von Plettenberg by unanimous decision. Scotland’s fighting pride then got to show off in her hometown for Cage Warriors. She earned a first-round KO of Sally Krumdiak. Jojo was then nearly scheduled to compete against now-fellow UFC star, Claudia Gadhela. However, due to a card reshuffle, the Brazillian was moved up the card. There would be 2 more wins for Jojo in Invicta before the UFC came calling.

UFC Career to Date

After winning everyone over with her relentless pace and traditional Thai style stand up on The Ultimate Fighter, Jojo got to compete on the undercard of The Ultimate Fighter season finale against Seohee Ham. The Scot left with the decision victory in her UFC debut. Her next fight would be her first loss against Maryna Moroz, via armbar in the first round. She then went on to win a cracker of a fight against Courtney Casey. After being close to finished in the first, the Scot was able to grind out the decision.

Then came the one and only losing streak of her career. Calderwood lost to future champ Jessica Andrade. Then in her hometown of Glasgow after missing weight, she lost again to Kalindra Faria. Looking for a rebound win, Calderwood picked up a fight against Ariane Lipski. This one would get her back in the Win column before losing again to future title challenger Katlyn Chookagian. Jojo’s last fight was a decision win v Andrea Lee, which has earned her a title shot against the ever-impressive Valentina Shevchenko. It’s a tough task for Jojo, but with a whole nation willing her on, anything is possible.

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