In just over a year, Scottish 115-pound fighter Joanne “JoJo” Calderwood has made her presence known on the MMA scene as one of the best female fighters in the world with a dominating style that has her undefeated to start off her career.
Most recently, Calderwood picked up her seventh straight win with a victory over late replacement Norma Rueda Center in July in a bout she had full control of from start to finish.
“The fight pretty much went the way we thought it would although we didn’t think (Center) would back up/run away so much,” said Calderwood. “I didn’t feel like I was in any danger at any time and was good to get 15 minutes in and pick up some moves that went in to my recent highlight reel, which is what I always aim for.
“I know Norma had wrestled in high school or college and felt comfortable wrestling in the exchanges when she tried to push it. I was happy to get another win and to use some of the stuff I’d been working in the gym. The only thing missing for me was the finish; I like to finish.”
Since her fight with Center, Calderwood has been busy in the gym, continuing to develop what is an already effective style.
“After my last fight I was in the gym on the Monday back into off season stuff, which consists of lots of technique classes, strength programs, and cakes,” said Calderwood jokingly. “This is my job, so when I’m not in a camp, I’m in there taking full advantage of my lucky situation.
“I always want to be a better version of myself every time I fight. I always work to get better-rounded, so I’m training everything in the gym improving my skills and becoming a better athlete.”
When asked if she feels any pressure because of her early success, Calderwood replied, “I’m going into every fight with the best fight camp and the best team behind me, so I’m always confident, and as long as I perform to my abilities, I will never disappoint, even if my undefeated record goes.
“I don’t concern myself with results and records; records are for DJ’s. I concentrate on performance. As for it being a motivator, I never need any motivation to fight.”
For Calderwood’s next bout, she’ll be matched up with fellow undefeated fighter Katja Kankaanpaa (8-0-1) at Invicta FC 7 on Dec. 7 in Kansas City.
“My thoughts are that she is above me in the ladder and I’m climbing to the top,” said Calderwood of Kankaanpaa. “I just hope she’s coming to hurt me and try and get in my way. With the amount of talent on this card, we got to stand out; no one is going to remember a dull fight.”
Considering the impact this bout could have on the 115-pound division, a title shot for the winner could be a distinct possibility, which is just fine with Calderwood.
“I want to climb the ladder and I’ll happily fight any girl to get to the title and then keep it around my waist.”