The #5-ranked UFC flyweight Cynthia Calvillo believes a pairing with Valentina Shevchenko would highlight the potency of her ground game.
Ahead of UFC 266 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, flyweight champ Shevchenko is on a violent quest for a sixth title defense. In her destructive path will be Lauren Murphy, who enters the contest on a five-fight winning streak. However, also performing in the same building will be the rising contender Cynthia Calvillo, who faces Shevchenko’s last opponent, Jéssica Andrade.
Ahead of her pairing with “Bate Estaca” at UFC 266, Calvillo is confident her ground game would give the “Bullet” fits. The flyweight maintained that her training in Las Vegas is paying dividends toward her development as an elite UFC fighter.
Speaking with MMA News’ James Lynch, the 9-fight UFC veteran explained that her grappling strength poses serious threats to the division’s titleholder.
“I think it’s gonna be your typical stylistic striker vs. grappler match. Obviously, I gotta be really careful with the striking. We know that she also has a good ground game as well. And I feel like I have the best ground game in the division, and I really feel like that’s gonna give her the worst trouble there. I know Jennifer Maia tried to hold her against the fence and stuff but couldn’t really hold her down for too long, but she’s probably the closest to doing it.
“So yeah, that’s how I see the fight. I think I have a really good chance. Cynthia Calvillo said. I’ve leveled up a ton while being here in Las Vegas, and I’m extremely confident in myself facing Valentina in the future.”
Calvillo was last seen in the Octagon against Katlyn Chookagian in November of 2020. The California native suffered a unanimous decision defeat. Preceding her loss to Chookagian, Calvillo was certainly gathering steam as she managed to outpoint Jessica Eye en route to a decision win in a headlining bout for UFC Vegas 2.
The flyweight will seek to erase memories of defeat at UFC 266 and reinstate herself as the next most viable contender for the champion that many are viewing as the UFC’s current boogeywoman.
Do you think Calvillo’s ground game will give Shevchenko problems?
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