UFC 266 Fighters Make Their Own Title Eliminator

© Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC

Cynthia Calvillo is dictating her career trajectory on the road to UFC 266 and a fight with Jessica Andrade.

Andrade vs. Calvillo opens the main card of UFC 266: “Volkanovski vs. Ortega”, taking place inside the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on Sat., Sept. 25 via ESPN+ pay-per-view (PPV). Calvillo (No. 5) is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Katlyn Chookagian in November, yet she could earn herself an Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) title shot with a win over top contender and former champion Andrade.

“Honestly, that’s what I was hoping for. I asked for the fight,” Cavillo tells MMAMania.com. “It wasn’t so much that it was offered to me. I saw the opportunity and I took it. It’s very similar to what I did last year with Jessica Eye. I saw the opportunity that she didn’t have the fight, so I asked the matchmakers.

“In this case, I actually saw Jessica Andrade at Invicta. She was cornering a fighter and I was cornering a fighter, and I asked if she wanted to take a face-off picture. We sent it to Mick [Maynard]. We sort of matched it up ourselves.”

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Andrade, the former UFC Women’s Strawweight champion, suffered a second-round technical knockout (TKO) loss to UFC Women’s Flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko (watch highlights) at UFC 261 in April. Shevchenko vs. Lauren Murphy serves as the co-headliner for UFC 266 and, while Calvillo has not officially been tabbed as a short-notice replacement, she is prepared to fill in for either title fighter.

“Honestly, I don’t think there is anybody else right now who is going to be there,” she says. “It’s whoever they decide. It could be very likely.”

Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 266 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPNEWS/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 266: “Volkanovski vs. Ortega” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

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