For many UFC fans, Cynthia Calvillo is a relative unknown. That’s why she’s the underdog, and nobody expects her to win her match against No. 1 flyweight contender Jessica “Evil” Eye in the UFC Vegas 2 main event from the Apex in Las Vegas. For Calvillo, even with a move up in weight class, she is not intimidated but confident because she knows every time she steps into the octagon, she has a special spirit guiding her.
Cynthia Calvillo has established herself in UFC
Cynthia Calvillo started her MMA career as an amateur back in 2012. Her first four fights, Calvillo dominated her opponents. After her first defeat in March 2013, she ran off a string of three more wins before turning pro in 2016.
Calvillo won her first three professional fights when she got the call to join the UFC in March 2017. In her professional career, Calvillo has put together a solid 8-1-1 record with victories over Pearl Gonzalez, Joanne Calderwood, and her most recent win over Cortney Casey in February 2019.
Her only UFC defeat came at the hands of Carla Esparza in 2017 in a unanimous decision. Calvillo’s last UFC fight with Marina Rodriguez in December 2019 ended in a draw.
Cynthia Calvillo plans on proving her doubters wrong
It’s understandable Cynthia Calvillo has her share of detractors in her fight against Jessica “Evil” Eye. For starters, Calvillo took this fight on very short notice. She said after stepping back into the gym a month ago to train for the first time in months since the start of the pandemic, she was looking to fight again in July. Her manager was looking for fights and saw Eye had an opening on her schedule, when they approached the UFC.
“The UFC came back and said, ‘How about main event in three weeks?’ I was like yes. You don’t say no to those opportunities,” Calvillo told ABC 10 in Sacramento.
Calvillo said she has the element of surprise in her corner because most people didn’t understand why she would take a fight against the No. 1 contender in the flyweight division, her first fight in the heavier weight class. The 32-year-old said she believes flyweight is the better class for her based on her most recent track record and missing weight twice as a strawweight, where she was ranked No. 13.
“I think this is the right weight class for me. I still have to pay attention to what I’m eating and stuff like that, but it’s not the same way where like before, I felt like I was eating like a rabbit. Now I can eat healthy, but I can ear hearty, healthy foods. I feel great. I think this is the right class that I belong to.”
Calvillo’s special angel watches over her
Cynthia Calvillo said it doesn’t matter what UFC weight class she’s in or who the opponent is because she’s got extra help each time she steps into the octagon from her grandfather, who died several years ago.
“He had a really bad memory, so any time anybody would come see him, he didn’t remember anybody because he was really sick. I remember walking in there and seeing him and holding his hand and he woke up and he looked up at me and said, ‘Hey there, that’s my fighter.’ I’ll never forget that because he just looked at me, and it just meant a lot,” Calvillo said, holding back tears in an interview with UFC.com.
She dedicated her victory over Poliana Botelho to her grandfather back in 2018, and she said he still inspires her today.
“He’s one of the big reasons I still fight, and I feel like his spirit lives in me,” she said.
Calvillo said she understands how a lot of pundits don’t give her a chance against Eye based on all of the circumstances leading up to the fight including short notice, the level of competition, and moving up in weight class, but she knows what she’s capable of, and more importantly, she knows she has a special angel watching over her.