A women’s flyweight title bout between reigning gold-holder, Valentina ‘Bullet’ Shevchenko, and rising contender, Joanne ‘JoJo’ Calderwood has been removed from UFC 251 on June 6th., and has been postponed to a later date. Speaking on the Eurobash podcast with MMA Fighting writer, Peter Carroll, Muay Thai practitioner, Calderwood – explained how Shevchenko was forced from the summer meeting – ultimately scrapping the June pairing for the time being.
Dominant champion, Shevchenko, recently extended her winning run to five fights, finishing recent title challenger, Katlyn Chookagian with strikes at UFC 247 in February. The Kyrgyzstan native was expected to clash with Calderwood at the June event, but according to the #3 ranked contender, issues on Shevchenko’s end has resulted in a rescheduling.
“We got word last week that it’s going to get pushed back,” Calderwood explained. “Not because of this (COVID-19 pandemic) whole thing, but something on her (Valentina Shevchenko’s) end. I’m not sure if I’m supposed to say that, but we know for sure that it’s not going to be on June 6th. I don’t know, I’m not sure what happened or what’s what, but it’s been pushed back. It could be a blessing in disguise.”
Irvine native, Calderwood, has claimed the top three position in an ever-evolving flyweight division, courtesy of victories over Kalindra Faria, Ariane Lipski, and a close decision of Andrea Lee since 2018. Despite the hiccup postponing her premier Octagon title tilt, the 32-year-old is still excited about the possibility of competing in the United States instead.
“Right now, I’m enjoying the one-to-one,” Calderwood said. “I just feel like all this is happening and I’m just going to make the best out of this situation. We were planning to go two weeks before and I think it’s twenty-four hours flying time, so you’re talking two days travel, but I love Australia so I wasn’t going to complain about that. It’s a great country and I know that there are a lot of U.K. and Scottish people over there, so I’m just hoping it will be in the U.S. and it will be closer for everyone to meet in the middle,”
A date Stateside would drastically prove more logistically practical for Calderwood, who plys her trade at Syndicate MMA in Las Vegas, Nevada.