UFC Phoenix gave us three women’s fights, two of which had ranked fighters fighting each other. On the main card, #12 ranked Strawweight Cynthia Calvillo beat #11 Cortney Casey by Unanimous Decision. In the prelims, #14 Flyweight Andrea Lee beat #12 Ashlee Evans-Smith by Unanimous Decision. And the first fight of the night, unranked Emily Whitmire submitted Aleksandra Albu in the first round by rear-naked choke. But what’s next for the winners?
The fight against Cortney Casey was a hard fought 3 round battle. The hinger ranked Casey did not let the brut Cynthia Calvillo punk her in any way. But Calvillo came out victorious. Now she will surely be ranked in the top 10 of the Strawweight division. In her post-fight interview Calvillo called out a fighter that not many do, Tatiana Suarez.
Although the call out of Suarez is a big one, it makes sense for Calvillo. Before her suspension for marijuana, Calvillo was on a fast-track to fighting for a championship. Then her career came to a halt. Now she is back to her winning ways and in the mix once more. Sure the Suarez call out is a tough one but Cynthia Calvillo is game for a fight. If the UFC does indeed make this fight, it would be an interesting one with title shot implications. Since Suarez is having a difficult time getting an opponent and Calvillo called her out, the UFC should make this fight!
"I would love to fight Tatiana Suarez!"
— UFC (@ufc) February 18, 2019
The past few months have been difficult for Andrea Lee personally and professionally. She shook it all off at UFC Phoenix and went into a hard fought battle against Ashlee Evans-Smith, which she won. Now there is no doubt Lee should be ranked in the top 10 of the Flyweight division. Now she is primed to get an opponent in the top 10 and possibly in the top 5. But who should she fight?
The Flyweight division is one of the more stacked in the UFC. There are hard fights up-and-down the division. Lee has a previous loss (amateur) to #3 ranked Katlyn Chookagian. While Lee would be fighting a much higher ranked opponent, Chookagian is coming off of a loss – to Jessica Eye at UFC 231. This would be a high level standup fight which could see the winner potentially getting a title shot down the line.
If the UFC doesn’t want to give Lee a top 5 opponent just yet, Joanne Calderwood is a fascinating opponent. Both fighters are incredibly talented on the feet and both have an underrated ground game, especially Calderwood as of late. This is a fun fight for sure. Andrea Lee versus wither Katlyn Chookagian or Joanne Calderwood would be entertaining and would also make sense in the rankings.
— UFC (@ufc) February 18, 2019
Although Emily Whitmire isn’t in the UFC’s Strawweight rankings yet, she does have 2 wins in a row. Her victory at UFC Phoenix over Aleksandra Albu came quickly in the first round via a rear-naked choke. Her next opponent should be one that is close to a top 15 herself. But who?
There is the Invicta FC Strawweight champion waiting for the call-up from the UFC. Since Whitmire made her fight fast work she will be ready for a quick turn around. There is an upcoming UFC event in Brazil and it might be good idea to get the Invicta champion Virna Jandiroba, who is a native of Brazil, on that card. This obviously wouldn’t be an easy fight for Whitmire. But she has shown to be game for a challenge. And a win against Jandiroba in Brazil would definitely open some eyes to who she is as a fighter.
Who would you like to see Cynthia Calvillo, Andrea Lee and Emily Whitmire fight next? Leave your comments in the comment section!