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Joanne Calderwood’s expected title shot will have to wait a little longer.
The Scot has decided to step up on less than two weeks notice to face Jennifer Maia at UFC Fight Night 173, after Viviane Araujo tested positive for COVID-19. The two are set to square off in a flyweight bout on August 1, at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas. Combate were the first to report the booking, and it was later confirmed by MMA Junkie.
Calderwood (14-4) was scheduled to be the next in line to face champion, Valentina Shevchenko, with the pair initially booked for June 6, only for Shevchenko to pull out with a leg injury. ‘Jojo’ has won three of her last four, with wins over Kalindra Faria, Ariane Lipski and Andrea Lee propelling her to #3 in the flyweight rankings.
Maia (17-6-1) is a former Invicta flyweight champion and currently finds herself 2-2 in the UFC after signing with the company in 2018. The 31 year old has missed weight in her last two bouts, coming in at 129 and 127.2 lbs respectively and is coming off a November 2019 loss to Katlyn Chookagian. Sitting at #6 in the rankings, a win here could push her to the front of the queue for the next title shot.
UFC Fight Night 173 is now scheduled to be headlined by Edmen Shahbazyan and Derek Brunson at middleweight, after previous headliner, Holly Holm vs. Irene Aldana fell out.