Joanne Calderwood to fill in as late replacement vs. Jennifer Maia at UFC on ESPN+ 31

Joanne Calderwood to fill in as late replacement vs. Jennifer Maia at UFC on ESPN+ 31

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So much for Joanne Calderwood’s shot at a UFC title.

Calderwood, who was next in line to challenge women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko, has agreed to fight Jennifer Maia on late notice after Viviane Araujo tested positive for COVID-19 and was forced to withdraw from the Aug. 1 UFC on ESPN+ 31 event.

A person with knowledge of the situation confirmed Calderwood’s signing Monday night but requested anonymity since the UFC has yet to make an announcement. Earlier Monday, Maia told MMA Junkie that she’d been offered Calderwood and accepted following an initial report from Combate.

It’s a surprise turn of events for Calderwood, who was booked to fight Shevchenko for the title at the original UFC 251 scheduled for June 6 in Perth, Australia. That fight, however, was called off in late March after it was revealed that Shevchenko suffered a leg injury. Eventually the June 6 event in Perth was canceled because of the global coronavirus pandemic.

Calderwood (14-4 MMA, 6-4 UFC) earned her title shot on the heels of winning three out of four, including her most recent fight by split decision against Andrea Lee last September at UFC 242.

Instead, Calderwood will meet Maia (17-6-1 MMA, 2-2 UFC), who has missed weight in her previous two fights. She’s 2-2 in her last four fights, which includes a loss to Katlyn Chookagian, who also owns a win over Calderwood.

With the change, the latest UFC on ESPN+ 31 lineup now includes:

Holly Holm vs. Irene Aldana
Derek Brunson vs. Edmen Shahbazyan
Markus Perez vs. Eric Spicely
Trevin Giles vs. Jun Yong Park
Ed Herman vs. Da Un Jung
Joanne Calderwood vs. Jennifer Maia
Randy Brown vs. Vicente Luque
Jonathan Martinez vs. Frankie Saenz
Ray Borg vs. Nathan Maness
Chris Gutierrez vs. Luke Sanders

Breaking, Jennifer Maia, Joanne Calderwood, News, UFC

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