Joanne Calderwood lost her opportunity at UFC women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko when she accepted and lost a short-notice fight against Jennifer Maia.
Shevchenko doesn’t think anybody should be judging Calderwood for taking the risk and fighting Maia, no matter what the result was.
“It’s hard to understand someone’s decision. You never know,” Shevchenko said to MMA Fighting. “Probably she was like she needed this fight, she needed to be active. No one can judge her for this because this is what I feel for myself. I need to be active. I want to fight. Of course, it’s something she wanted to do so it was something she wanted to do. No one can blame her. She didn’t know, she expected that she was going to win the fight, get the money and have another fight in November.”
Calderwood and Shevchenko were supposed to fight for the title this past June, but Shevchenko suffered a knee injury and the bout was postponed. Maia will now get the opportunity to challenge Shevchenko for the title at UFC 255 and Shevchenko is good with fighting a new opponent.
“Now I have another opponent for my fight, Jennifer Maia, and I’m good with that,” Shevchenko said. “For me, it doesn’t really matter who is going to be in front of me. I’m going to be prepared the best way I can. But what I want, my opponent is going to be a good one, the best one and they fight with the best version of themselves.”
There is no word yet on what is next for Calderwood, who is ranked #5 in the UFC women’s flyweight division.