The UFC returns to Glasgow this July with UFC Fight Night 113: Nelson vs Ponzinibbio. The co main event however features home fighter Joanne Calderwood (11-2) in a highly anticipated match up against the American, Cynthia Calvillo (5-0).
Joanne is no stranger to fighting at a UFC event in Glasgow after winning there in July 2015 against Cortney Casey but Joanne admitted that she didn’t think the UFC would be back just yet,
“It feels awesome, I didn’t really think they would come back so soon but here we are two years later. The first time I was buzzing, lots of emotions but the main thing for me was I felt happy and really grateful for the amount of support that was behind me I couldn’t believe it. So I’m looking forward to those feelings again.”
Fighting in front of a home crowd can be blessing and a curse but Joanne is not letting the nerves get to her.
“I would say there is less pressure on me now than the first time I fought in Glasgow because I feel like last time it was a bit of an emotional rollercoaster, I feel that this is going to be better, my training has sorted a lot of things out. The pressure will still be there that I’m fighting in front of my home crowd but at the same time it will push me to perform.”
Joanne has fought all over the world but wouldn’t mind venturing further afield to experience different atmospheres,
“I’d like to fight in Thailand, I’ve fought there before. I love their way of fighting but MMA would be a lot different over there. I would like to visit Brazil or Japan so maybe those two but it’s different when you’re fighting because you don’t really get to see the city but it would be awesome to fight in front of a Japanese crowd.”
Joanne now trains pretty much full time in Canada and being away from home is clearly tough on someone so close to her family but she acknowledges that these sacrifices are required to fight at the top level,
“I’ve been at Tristar pretty much exclusively, apart from two weeks back in Scotland during Christmas and New Year.
It’s really hard, I’m really close with my mum, brother and sister and it’s really hard to go away to the other side of the world and keep a connection with them, luckily with technology it’s easier but it doesn’t give you that ‘sitting on the couch with your mum’ feeling or a hug. These are the sacrifices you have to make but I these will pay off eventually.
I’ve got some good team mates over there who are also my friends outside of the gym so I hang out with them and go to the cinema. Summer is nice over there and you can imagine what the winter is like.”
Joanne is the number 7 ranked UFC straw weight but has already fought and won at Flyweight against Valerie Letourneau,
“I loved my fight at flyweight, I felt really happy at that weight. I was happy all the way through my fight camp, I didn’t have to drop that miserable last 10lbs. 115 is a bit of a struggle for me, I can still make it but my life is just a little bit more miserable if I have to.”
When Joanne fought in Glasgow in July 2015 she was fighting after her very first loss of her MMA career. She is in a similar situation in that she lost her last fight against recent title contender Jessica Andrade.
“Someone just told me about that, I didn’t even realise! Every time I fight I’m trying to be better and be a better athlete. I always try for a better performance than my last one. I see the loss as a good thing but yeah I’ll be looking to go in there and make a statement.”
UFC Fight Night 113: Nelson vs Ponzinibbio come to Glasgow SSE Hydro on July 16th
Tickets Available here: