Women’s flyweight Bout
This matchup will feature two top-five women’s flyweight contenders, each looking to make their case for a shot at Valentina Shevchenko’s flyweight belt. That is, assuming Valentina remains the champion of this division following her headlining championship bout later on this card against Jennifer Maia.
Cynthia Calvillo is back in the win column, following her unanimous decision victory over Jessica Eye this June. She is now 3-0-1 in her last four, and is 6-1-1 in the UFC. She has three UFC finishes, all submissions by rear naked choke. She scored two knockouts outside of the UFC, one in a major promotion.
A well rounded fighter newly training with American Kickboxing Academy, Calvillo has had an impressive run since her 2017 loss to Carla Esparza. She has great striking fundamentals, head movement and footwork. She changes her angles and is very tough to land clean shots against.
Calvillo has a clean jab and very good accuracy with all of her punches. She’s a precision striker, looking to pop in and out of the pocket landing 2-3 shots at a time. She works in a healthy amount of kicks and makes efforts to attack the body and keep opponents guessing.
Calvillo also has excellent wrestling fundamentals. She has a great understanding of control, and does an excellent job of tying up opponents legs, tripping if necessary, pushing her opponents against the cage and doing damage. She has submission skills as well, but Chookgian may be too educated in that department to get submitted here.
Jessica Andrade likely secured the right to be next in line by defeating Chookagian in dominant fashion just over one month ago. Chookagian is looking for a quick turnaround and a chance to regain her status as the #1 contender at women’s flyweight. She is now 7-4 in the UFC. All of her UFC wins have come by unanimous decision.
Chookagian, a brown belt in Jiu Jitsu under Renzo Gracie with John Danaher in her corner, is as well-rounded of a fighter as can be found in this division, or in women’s MMA overall. She has excellent control skills on top and lands strikes in the process of hunting for chokes. She’s comfortable fighting on her feet as well, a karate practitioner of almost thirty years.
Chookagian will have a two-inch reach advantage in this fight, and will likely look to keep Calvillo away with her jab. She’s an intelligent striker and very effective defensive kickboxer. She utilizes a variety of combinations and evenly attacks all areas of the body. She’s very good at utilizing her reach advantage, and throws at a high volume but succeeds as a counter-striker
Because of her complete skillset, she is a chameleon who can design a gameplan to beat anyone in the division. She’s one of the best in this division at keeping fights in her range, mixing up her strikes and mixing in her grappling.
This fight is almost guaranteed to go the distance, but at -315 that play isn’t worth much outside of parlays. These fighters appear to be pretty much even in every facet of mixed martial arts. They have similar styles and are of similar skill level on both their feet and the ground, and this is going to be a back-and-forth fight in which both fighters will have their moments.
All of that being said, should Calvillo really be a -270 favorite? We don’t think so. This is truly a 50/50 fight, and we love the value that presents on Chookagian as a +230 underdog. A lot of that line has to do with her loss to Andrade just over a month ago, and Andrade showed she is clearly on another level, in terms of contenders in this division.
Andrade is a former champion with wins and close contests with some of the best female fighters on the planet on her record. That is the type of fighter you have to be in order to beat Kaitlyn Chookagian and Cynthia Calvillo, while still a serious threat, is not on that same level of fighters. Each of these women is really within that “next tier,” and Chookagian is certainly worth a value play in what we see as a coin toss of a fight.