The UFC confirmed on Friday that Scottish mixed martial artist, Joanne Calderwood, will take on Ukraine’s Maryna “The Iron Woman” Moroz, at UFC Fight Night: Gonzaga vs. Crop Cop 2, which will take place in Krakow, Poland on April 11th.
This is the first time a women’s UFC strawweight bout has ever taken place in the EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) region, marking a significant step forward for women’s MMA in these territories.
For Calderwood, former star of The Ultimate Fighter: A Champion Will Be Crowned, the prospect of fighting in Europe, on the same card as some of the world’s best female mixed martial artists, is an exciting one:
“It’s worked out perfectly for me. It’s good to see so many female fighters on the card – it will be similar, in a way, to my UFC debut at the TUF Finale. It’s going to be a good night for fans.”
Calderwood, with a professional MMA record of 9-0-0, faces an opponent with an impressive record herself. Moroz has finished four of her five professional MMA bouts to date by arm bar and she remains undefeated, as she heads into what will be her debut fight in the UFC.
But Calderwood insists she is up for the challenge and raring to get back inside the Octagon.
“I really look forward to challenging myself, especially with so many girls out there. I want to expose myself to different styles and the only way to do that is to get fights,” she said.
“This is the first time I’ve not had to travel far for a fight. In my MMA career I’ve only ever fought in America and India, so it’s good to be fighting closer to home. I feel a bit of a connection to Poland too because, in my gym, a quarter of the members are Polish and we do Polish classes. They are always telling me that people in Poland talk about me when I’m fighting and they say I’ve got a few fans out there, so that’s nice. It’s been on my list of places to go so I’m glad to be fighting there,” added Calderwood.
The 28-year-old admits she doesn’t know much about her opponent, but her coaches will formulate the right game plan.
“To be honest, I haven’t looked Moroz up just yet. My coaches have looked her up and they tell me she’s the same height as me and that she’s won all her fights except one by arm bar, so there’s going to be a few things to look out for. But my coaches will put a game plan together and we’ll be ready,” she said.
After the fight with Moroz, Calderwood hopes to compete on the July 18 fight card in her hometown of Glasgow.
“For me, this is perfect timing. After this fight, I 100-percent want to fight on the Glasgow card on July 18. It would be a dream come true for me to fight in Glasgow for the UFC. The opportunity to step inside the Octagon in front of a home crowd would be something I’d never forget,” she said.